Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jim Probst - Virtual Shop Visit


Jim Probst, a furniture designer and craftsman, works out of his shop in West Virginia creating beautifully crafted heirloom quality furniture for the home and office. Here he grants us a virtual visit to his shop.
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The core of my shop was originally a grocery store. It has also been a restaurant and was apartments when I bought it. We have added on to it twice and now have approximately 5500 square feet.


We are in the shop at least 5 days a week and often 6. My helpers work 4, 10 hour days and set their own hours. They like to get off early so they start at 5:00 AM every morning (go figure). I've been working 6 days a week for years, and have been trying to cut back the last few years.


My primary woods all come from Irion Lumber in Wellsboro PA. We have developed a great working relationship and they saw and keep particular items in stock just for me. We work primarily in cherry, walnut, and figured maple. We order in on a per need basis, usually about every 6 weeks. We really get extraordinary material from them, as you will see from some of the images.


We are reasonably well organized, though if I had started out with the space I have now, I probably would have done some things differently. We do have our spaces divided into receiving, rough milling, assembly, veneering, finishing, and shipping. Really pretty happy with the shop.


I most enjoy the design process and love seeing a new design come into being for the first time (especially if I am happy with it).


I haven't done any shows in several years now, and have decided to do a show in Baltimore the first of May. Usually when I come up with new designs or a new line, I need to get out and do a few shows to introduce the work. I haven't done that yet with my Meander line so I am presently working on a show display of my Meander collection.


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Some of Jim's furniture can be seen in his gallery-
http://www.finewoodartists.com/gallery/probst/james_probst.htm

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