Artistic Woodworking Specialties (AWS) – Coming together
“Bob Blanck has worked in the construction and woodworking industries for over 50 years. He began his career learning the art of cabinet making with master craftsmen, acquiring skills that evolved into a full-time career. He started his own business called Majestic Cabinet Co. in 1973, where he specialized in custom cabinetry and architectural millwork. Eventually, he expanded it to include home remodeling and home building, until his retirement in 2010.
He tried retirement for a while but didn’t feel fulfilled. He missed working with wood and began feeling the need to be constructive again. So, he began repairing or refurbishing vintage furniture and antiques, something he had always enjoyed. Although he builds from scratch, he also finds joy in taking something that has little to no use left in it, removing the part that is no longer useful, and changing it to something that is useful again for today’s needs.
By modernizing or repurposing furniture, he began creating what is known as ‘upcycling’ and/or ‘restomod’ works of art. He has seen our culture become a throwaway society. By repurposing or restoring, not only can he keep costs down, but it gives him a chance to reduce the environmental impact people make.
In 2016, he started collaborating with his friend Dorine and together, they run Artistic Woodworking & Specialties. Dorine and Bob both love seeing things become useful again, and they both enjoy resto-mod works of art, so it was a perfect fit.
Dorine is the hunter; she is always looking for the perfect piece of furniture. Once she finds it, they start kicking around ideas and they always seem to come up with something special.
Many times, though, they will buy something because they like it but have no idea what they are going to do with it, and must wait for the inspiration to come. Then there are times they see something and ideas start flooding in. Occasionally, they have an idea in mind already and set out looking for a certain piece of furniture to work with. Their workshop is filled with different finishes, textures, colors and procedures that are just waiting for the right piece to come along.
After they find the perfect piece of furniture, Bob does the hands on – the craftsmanship – the making and the repairing of the pieces. Then, they work together on the finishes.
Dorine and Bob enjoy working on a chest of drawers, dressing tables, china/display cabinets, and armoires; preferably American made pieces from the late 1800’s thru the 1940’s. They see an appeal in older pieces because they have a different style that is not found in modern furniture and this gives them a charm all their own.”