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DESIGN
Moore & Giles Black Walnut Furniture
A handcrafted, debut collection from the Virginia-based design company
by David Graver
on 01 August 2013
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For more than 80 years, Virginia-based Moore & Giles have designed some of the best natural leather products. With that same handcrafted attention to detail, they have just launched a Black Walnut furniture collection. This limited production run carries many of the same beautiful attributes as their leather goods. There is evidence of the artisans' hands present—thus no two pieces are the same. Carefully selected, locally sourced materials match high-design with everyday use. And, of course, Moore & Giles superior quality is the greatest unifier.

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The initial three-piece collection includes a Writing Table, a Perch and a Magazine Holder, all designed and made by hand at the company's Virginia workshop. A room-by-room approach led to these first three pieces; each created with foyer placement in mind. Warm and welcoming, all three items fit well into the natural entry point of a home. Vegetable-tanned Italian leather meets Black Walnut wood, while Cyprus and Pine provide striking contrast. The additional steel accents also hail from Virginia. Together, the style begets a beautiful usability.

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The inspiration for the pieces stemmed from a desire to showcase the leather in conjunction with native Virginia materials, and it's in the details that the collection displays its uniqueness. The Writing Table's leather inlay features preserved natural edges. The drawer knobs are made of stacked leather, individually turned on the lathe.

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Traditions and workmanship can dictate the quality of handmade furniture. As well established traditionalists, the series was artfully planned and executed. Brandon Ulland, Moore & Giles' master cabinet maker, explained that the wood itself comes from wide board planks, "not from your typical sawmill." Each is cut with a handsaw, as it would have been done 150 to 200 years ago. The hand-planed table top offers a polished finish a machine cannot match. Further, Ullan notes that "In stretching the leather, a geometric pattern formed from the seams. This is something you wouldn't see today—another touch that says this was done by hand."

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Like their leather, the wood tells a story. Ulland observes, "In the grain, you'll see red tones and golden tones. You also see the same differentiation in the leather. It really compliments the variation in the hide." Moore & Giles hope that each piece will become a treasured heirloom, passed on for generations. Thus, the lasting definitive attribute of the furniture collection is that the products will age well. Through use, and in accordance with time, the beauty will only continue to grow.

Moore & Giles furniture is available from their website.

Images courtesy of Moore & Giles

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