THE FINISH IS ONLY THE BEGINNING

interview by NANCY GORDON
photography courtesy WINDSOR CHAIRMAKERS

Julie Cook, Windsor Chairmakers' finisher.
Seven drawer bachelor’s chest in
tiger maple cranberry finish.
Shaker bench in Pitch Black milk paint.
Slant front desk and Shaker stool in
tiger maple chestnut finish.
Priory bench in tiger maple and
walnut dark cranberry finish.
A pair of custom, tiger maple bedside tables in marmalade finish.
Marigold over Lexington Green
milk paint, crackled.
Custom walnut coffee table in honey dye after the last top coat has been applied.
Ash coffee table in honey with chocolate/ black milk paint base.
Tiger maple seat just after dye, highlighting
and two sealer coats have been applied.
A pair of Shaker stools in Pitch Black
over Tavern Green, crackled.

There are many great furniture makers in this state able to produce pieces of infinite beauty. The key to a successful furniture shop is having the talent to apply a finish to each piece that is worthy of the wood from which it is made.

Windsor Chairmakers is blessed to have an artisan capable of turning cherry, ash and tiger maple into something that is truly a useable treasure. Julie Cook has been the anchor of their finish room for over 28 years. Her well of knowledge and dedication to their customers’ needs are second to none. Every piece of furniture that leaves Windsor’s shop is lovingly finished by her talented hands, which makes the work that they produce into a work of art.

I had the pleasure of talking with Julie...

Julie, did you begin working with furniture as a finisher?

Yes, and I’ve been doing it now for 28 years!

Where did you learn your craft?

I learned on my own by refinishing furniture for myself, but mostly I learned at Windsor. Mike Timchak, the owner, taught me a lot. He’s very good at teaching and can do every job it takes to create a beautiful piece of handcrafted furniture.

Do different woods require different handling?

Yes. All woods react differently. At Windsor, we use water-based dyes, which are very forgiving and give the wood a greater depth. It also allows me to add a lighter color for highlights, which can give the wood a more aged look.

What do you love about finishing the pieces?

I love bringing the wood to life! I like when the pieces are for special occasions, or I’ve had the opportunity to meet the customer. … The closeness is the most enjoyable. Also, the furniture pieces made by Windsor are heirlooms. … They will live on. That’s exciting to me.

. . .

Windsor Chairmakers
2596 Atlantic Hwy
Lincolnville, ME 04849
(207) 789-7188

windsorchair.com


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