Cold River Furniture – A Closer Look
By Alexandra Fisher
As Peter Maynard, owner of Cold River Furniture and woodworker extraordinaire, speaks to me about his business, I can’t help but imagine what his workshop looks like. After having one of their best shows ever at this past February’s Arts & Crafts Conference I can only picture commissions stacked to the ceiling and wood shavings scattered across the floor.
But forget about the workshop’s condition because Peter & Marcie Maynard are kicking off a banner year in the furniture making biz and I had the pleasure of asking them a few questions to get to know a little more about Cold River Furniture and the duo behind the workbench.
Peter started off his career as an apprentice with the George Whitmore Company based out of Connecticut. However, around the age of 22, Peter decided to take his work to the next level and formed his own furniture company. The rest is history. In his earlier entrepreneurial years, he mostly worked on architectural woodworking projects but his real passion was in furniture making, so he set aside his trim tools, picked up his small hand plane and got to work.
“The hewn effect is what makes all the difference.”, Peter told me as he described in great detail his approach to furniture making. “The feathered, elliptical edge of this style of furniture can’t be found with power tools.” “It’s all in the handwork.” And anyone can see when they run their hands over one of Peter’s tables, chairs or the bi-fold display case with handblown leaded glass doors seen below that the attention to detail and design aesthetic is what really sets Cold River Furniture apart from the rest.
And Peter’s incredible balance between design and construction sense can no doubt be attributed to the inspiration he draws from Mackintosh and Limbert. “They both were always looking for new lines in their designs but that still fit in the context of the Arts & Crafts Movement.” “[Their pieces] just stop you in your tracks to reflect.” And it’s this human to furniture interaction that Peter also strives for in all of his work.
“It’s been hard…”, Peter and Marcie agree, “…being an independent craftsperson — the reality might not quite be the dream but at the end of the day, it’s what drives my work.” The grind keeps him going and, in the midst of heavy over-seas manufacturing and mass production, there’s a lot to be said for sticking with the hustle and getting back to the American made dream.
To find out more about Cold River Furniture and the Maynard family visit their website at www.coldriverfurniture.com
Guest article by Alexandra Fisher