Still to this day, one of my favorite projects I have created is the nursery at Mechanicsville Christian Center in Mechanicsville, VA. This project was and is a perfect blend of creativity mixed with woodworking. I was asked in the fall of 2015 to create a fun space that is inviting for the young children to enjoy. The concept of a tree house was presented to the church in a hand drawn depiction. I love the natural form you get from a live/natural edge slab of wood and wanted to re-create that look in this design. This presented the first challenge-- finding wood big enough for the counter check-in. The second challenge was how to make the front of the desk look like a fallen tree log.
After finding the 2" thick x 8' long slab of white oak I began to flatten and surface it for the counter. Butterfly joinery were added to stabilize the checks and splits as needed. Next was the curved 3' x 8' tree log wall-- I started with 2x4’s and began cutting them all at a 7 degree angle (I had figured out in AutoCAD). After the wall was formed and glued, a lot of grinding and sculpting was required to create bark, knots, and give other tree-like characteristics. Finally, a layering of paint was used to create depth and volume with the colors. This was followed by installation of siding, a window, and more trees to create the feel of the nursery.
This project was built in 2015, however, Branch Furniture + Design was not established until the next year. For me this project was the pivotal point for me as a maker and ignited what I feel is my life's purpose. I gained confidence within myself, along with my skills as a woodworker. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this project and love seeing the little children still excited to be dropped off at this fun and very life-like, CREATIVE SPACE.