Robert Seliger sketches each furniture design by hand.
Robert Seliger’s furniture designs are an artistic interpretation of a vision, dream or idea. “As I design a piece, I like to experiment with organic shapes, curves and lines that arc or swell—these give the piece life.” Seliger sketches concepts by hand, planning out special details like inlaid metalwork, hand-carved motifs, and the style of hardware. Sketching also helps him determine the correct scale and proportions.
Seliger uses traditional joinery techniques.
Once the conceptual design is finalized, Seliger sources the wood, often traveling to the foothills of the Willamette Valley to select trees from forested plots. Back in the workshop, he uses traditional joinery for stability and also as a design element. The result: sturdy heirloom pieces that are also beautiful works of art.
Some of Seliger’s designs call for unique details. His wife, Kathy, often lends her artistic talents to projects by carving or painting designs by hand.
Seliger’s hand-rubbed finishes typically require 8-12 steps.
Once the piece is built and sanded, Seliger begins the labor-intensive process of staining and finishing. Seliger has developed a wide variety of finishes to bring out the depth and beauty of each piece. Seliger applies each layer by hand, responding to the wood and working his “canvas” until he is satisfied.
After the finish has cured, there are often a few last steps before the piece is complete. Chairs are sent out to a highly-skilled upholsterer. Local craftsmen create custom hand-forged drawer pulls or carve special embellishments such as flint arrowheads.
Seliger has a deep emotional attachment to every piece that comes out of his workshop.”There is definitely a part of my heart in soul in every piece of furniture I make.” From the initial sketches to the finished piece, Seliger often labors hundreds of hours to create a three-dimensional, fully-functional work of art.