American Hardwoods
Real American Hardwoods

The Secret of Aging Well? Hardwood Knows and Tells

I have just learned a most amazing new word:  dendrochronology. It’s the science of reading the growth rings of trees, the concentric circles of light and darker wood visible across the trunk of a hardwood tree when it is cut down. Each ring, expanding outward from...

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An Ill Wind Blows No Good

For three long, cold days this fall I was afraid to leave my house. Agoraphobia?   No.  Heart-break! The streets around my house in Maplewood, New Jersey, were littered with victims of  Superstorm Sandy.  In one black, tempestuous, surreal, and fateful night, the...

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Moulding a Heritage for an Unendowed House

It was a clear case of moulding envy, something anyone understands who’s ever felt a pang just from looking at the elegant interior architecture of some yesteryear house. My friend had moved back South to her native Richmond after half-a-lifetime in post-war New York...

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Love Beautiful Furniture?

You're barking up the right tree! Let the philosophers have their Age of Reason and the literati, their Age of Innocence: for lovers of beautiful furniture, it’s the Age of Oak and the Age of Walnut that count. Connoisseurs have always identified fine furnishings by...

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American’s History: ‘Carved’ in Hardwoods

This is not a happy day: one of my favorite historical myths has just been shattered.   There are no horse’s hoof marks on the wood floors of Monticello.  Thousands of human feet have trod the historic boards in Thomas Jefferson’s mountain-top estate, but not the...

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A 4-Letter Word for Inspiration? TREE

Except for love, few natural phenomena have evoked more poetry than trees. And, it follows, the beautiful hardwoods they contribute to our homes and lives.  Writers through the centuries have celebrated trees -- and wood -- in rhyme and prose…just as lovers have long...

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When the Furniture is the Art

Question When is a chair not just a chair?  A table good enough to eat? And a desk as sexy as a stiletto shoe? Answer When an art furniture-maker shrugs off centuries of tradition and re-invents the furnishings of everyday life. Not as easy as it sounds. If ever form...

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A Time-honored TRADITION We all say it – “Knock Wood” – and we all know why: it’s to prevent something we’ve just boasted about from coming back to haunt us.  And while the Brits favor “Touch wood,” the meaning’s the same: we’re relying on the strength of wood to keep...

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