The Cumberland Furniture Guild was started in September 2000, when seven Middle Tennessee fine furniture makers brought together by a common interest in studio furniture, joined forces to create an organization that would foster creative craft, artistic integrity and expanded opportunities for the fine furniture community in the middle Tennessee region. The decision was made to open the membership to any individual, group, or organization interested in their cause, including studio furniture makers, craft artists, hobbyists, and collectors.
The theme of this Cumberland Furniture Guild Biennial Exhibition is “Inspirations and Origins.” We asked makers to discuss the inspiration for their work and the responses were amazingly varied – from cooking pots, to plants, to personal challenge, to revered traditional furniture forms. The jurors - Candace Adelson, Kim Brooks, and Matthew Teague – were then asked to select works which, in their opinion, not only exemplified fine craft and artistry, but also successfully accomplished these stated or implied visions and goals.
The resulting exhibition, which also included “invited” works by some of Tennessee’s master furniture makers, is diverse in inspirations, techniques, and materials, as well as in interpretations of what “handmade” furniture is all about. These works truly represent the entire broad field of American furniture making today.
As the jurors noted, it proves once again that the art of furniture making has never faded in Tennessee and continues rightfully to remain on the cutting edge in the national arena.