We had the good fortune of connecting with Roger Deatherage and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Roger, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
From the movie. “Little Big Man”….”sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn’t”. With the exception of chairs, everything I do is a one off, a prototype, a first attempt at getting everything right. On the rare occasion that I get to do something twice, I do it differently to learn more for next time. The quote has always given me a little breathing room. “It takes the time it takes.” We live in a time when people can watch almost anything being built in a half hour, hour, or six episode time frame. I encourage clients to visit the process in real time. I have found this to be the path to repeat clients.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what I am most proud of is the way I have included clients in the process of commissioning furniture. I have stayed small and as local as you can get. I have never had gallery representation or middle men of any type and have therefore come to know my clients personally. As a result, many of those clients and some of their children have come back over and over and their homes have become my showrooms. Without the overhead of a showroom and staff, and working from a shop on the property built with friends, we have been able to see our kids grow up and still do work we love for almost 50 years.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I find the Japanese Garden in Hermann Park to be an oasis of quiet in a big city. Navigation Ave. has great Mexican restaurants in clusters. Staying close to home is easier with four new breweries within a mile of the house. I find that most who visit would rather be in our twin studios.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Where to start….? Woodenworks, a show put together by the Smithsonian was a lightning strike of inspiration for a lot of people. A three month apprenticeship in woodworking on a small farm in Illinois showed me a way to integrate work and family, Having a wife/partner who understands the time it sometimes takes. ( I’m actually the sloth….Mary has three jobs, I only have one.)
Website: www.finewoodeninteriors.com. currently under construction
Other: We encourage studio visits by appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org
All photos by Roger Deatherage or Mary Rogers