Furniture Built for Your Life: Sentesy Solid Woodwork & Nick Moore
| Published in The Perth Courier, December 2013 |
When was the last time you chose to invest in quality over accessibility or convenience? Is it really worth it? David Sentesy, fine furniture-maker and owner of Sentesy Solid Woodwork, would say yes – without question. What value do we take from reflecting on how and where we choose to spend? As Christmas approaches, some may question choices that do not support environmental sustainability – we want to give in a way that contributes, that doesn’t deplete. Sentesy takes a strong and simple stance: value the earth and make things that last.
In 1970, Sentesy began to build his business from the ground up; he has been serving clientele in Perth and area for over 40 years. As Sentesy puts it, “I just love wood. I like to bring the presence of trees into our daily lives in an organic way.” A look at his website portfolio reveals a remarkable collection of beautiful, custom-designed, local hardwood furniture (tables, chairs, desks, bedframes, casework), architectural millwork (fire mantles, staircases, doors) and restoration work. The breadth is varied and ever-expanding; no project is too large or small. “You are getting what you can’t buy in a box store – custom design, quality joinery and superior materials.”
Beyond supporting local, independent business, what makes a piece like this preferable to a factory-made item? Perhaps surprisingly, it may be the most economical and environmental decision. Although the cost of a hand-crafted piece may seem at first daunting, the furniture will endure use for over 100 years. Cheap, factory pieces may be made with weak joinery or particle-board, liable to collapse under load or moisture and end up in a landfill. Solid woodwork is designed and constructed as a whole to consider wood-expansion over time. A single woodworker builds the piece with care, precision and refinement, using wood-to-wood joinery and materials aged indoors seven years for longevity.
Through a collaborative process, Sentesy works with you to create a personally designed piece that suits your preference in colour, style and function – anything ranging from Asian, French and Colonial to Polish design. Though glad to accommodate you, furniture is not a fashion item for Sentesy, “it should be timeless.” His natural style and design-sense reflects the grace and simplicity of the material beneath his hands. “You could call it Traditional Canadian solid wood furniture.” He reflects, “My work has an antique flavour, much like the kind available to people living in Canada 100 years ago.” Sentesy considers the colour, grain and markings of every element when crafting a piece – not only a well-seasoned tradesman, but an artist.
Sentesy’s career began with a degree in English and History; finding no work in teaching, he turned to his craft. He began apprenticing under an Italian cabinetmaker in Ottawa, and took a guitar-building course at Algonquin College. He worked with his brother Paul Sentesy (now owner of Sentwood-Mercer Construction) until committing to his passion for furniture-making and settling shop in a converted old cheese factory on the 7th Concession of Drummond Centre. He has since taught the Heritage Woodwork and Introduction to Cabinet Making courses at Algonquin College.
In February of 2013, Nick Moore, a graduate of Rosewood Studio in Perth (school of fine woodworking) dropped into Sentesy’s solitary workshop seeking a home for his business. Inspired by work with local and exotic woods and exploration with veneer work, coloured inlay, and modern design, Moore’s furniture is unique and complementary to Sentesy’s. He received a degree in Furniture Production and Management at Buckinghamshire Chiltern University, UK in 1997, where he learned of Rosewood. After working six years in restoration and upholstery, Moore moved to Canada to attend Rosewood and stayed there as shop steward for five years until he sought a larger space.
With their differing styles and complementary skills and input, Sentesy and Moore now work supportively alongside each other, providing the community with quality, handcrafted furnishings. “I love the warmth of wood,” shares Sentesy. “It’s forgiving, unlike metal work, a similar temperature to holding someone’s hand – something living. It gives pleasure. The legacy of a woodworker is that the work outlasts its maker. A new tree will have grown by the time a piece dies.”
Sentesy Solid Woodwork and Nick Moore Furniture-Making will receive orders now for those wanting pieces built in the New Year, with payment plans available. To contact them or view their portfolios, visit www.solidwoodwork.ca or www.nickmoore.ca.
Submitted by Monika S. Walker of Bright Mingle Media