One to Know: Aronson Woodworks
As many Americans know, a large part of the furniture manufacturing industry has moved overseas to Asia. Yes, this greatly reduces costs but the disadvantages become innovation in new product and design, customizable options and level of quality and longevity. So when I was recently introduced to Aronson Woodworks, my heart skipped a few beats. In furniture design, it’s rare to see a line that is radically new and different from what I have seen before with a beautiful story behind the company to boot. Let me now spread the word….
Aronson Woodworks started as a small woodworking shop 15 miles south of Des Moines, Iowa by Clay Aronson, a master wood craftsman with a degree in architecture. Clay started his business back around the early 2000’s making furniture using reclaimed barnwood from local farms.
At the same time, Clay noticed something about the furniture industry: finely crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces that were built to withstand the test of time were beginning to be overrun by low-cost, mass-produced imported furniture. For the next 10 years, Clay honed his woodworking skills to fill that void making it his mission to provide clients with furniture that had a story and that was built from quality materials using the solid wood joinery techniques of the past.
In 2015, Clay invented a unique, patent-pending finishing process aptly called “Claize” which allows for any paint, stain or color can be applied to the field of the wood piece (the flat solid part of the wood) and then the same process can be applied to the grain part of the wood (the mottled lines running through the wood) to create this unbelievable contrast in the wood piece.
Another special aspect about every single customizable furniture piece from Aronson Woodworks is that they are handcrafted from reclaimed Ash wood. In the mid-west, Ashwood trees have been invested with a type of green beetle native to East Asia. Government officials have decided the only way to get rid of the beetle is to implement the complete removal of all ash trees, even healthy ones. Aronson Woodworks collaborates with local tree care companies to salvage these beautiful trees, turning them into furniture pieces to last a lifetime.
The craftsmanship and innovation in design is taking Aronson Woodworks places. These beautiful pieces of “wood art” have recently graced the pages of Traditional Home magazine, inhabited the personal home of renowned designer Vern Yip, and can be found inhabiting luxury homes from the Hamptons to Park City. Each furniture piece can be customized and designed to your hearts desire. And because each piece is made from solid ash wood (never a veneer), completely “Claized” through the wood and then finished with two coats of super high performance conversion varnish, each piece is pretty much indestructible and can be used for islands, bars and dining tables without the worry of being damaged by food stains, water rings, and even paint stripper.