A Colorado Woodworker Shares His Top Local Artisans


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The Insider: Ross Beard

Rustic Trades

When Clay Adams built a wooden dining table for his wife, he didn’t intend to start a business. But requests for commissions began pouring in, and he soon founded Rustic Trades, a handmade furniture company based in Atlanta. In 2015, the small brand expanded west when woodworker Ross Beard, Adams’ brother-in-law, moved to Denver to open a showroom there.

Inspired by master craftsman Sam Maloof, Beard uses new and reclaimed materials to produce custom furnishings, from dining tables and desks to sliding barn doors.

“It’s remarkable how much enthusiasm there is for design in Colorado,” Beard says. “There is so much appreciation for handmade items, a commitment to local sourcing and a vibrant, growing community of designers and artists who support, encourage and share with one another.”

Here, he introduces us to a few of his favorites.

Go-to tabletop accessories: Sterling & Steel‘s high-quality flatware, hand-forged in Salida, has a beautiful modern appeal. I also enjoy the simplicity of Mcbeard Ceramics‘ tableware, made in Colorado Springs. And for under the table, I love the highend rugs from Artisan Rug Gallery, which has shops in Crested Butte and Denver; they complement our designs perfectly.

For distinctive furnishings: Designwright Studios‘ new showroom in the River North Art District is an incredible resource for furnishings. On South Broadway, Reclaimed DesignWorks offers unique reclaimed wood for custom furnishings and flooring and can often trace the lumber back to its source. And I could spend hours at Eron Johnson Antiques on South Lipan Street, which has an extensive collection that includes architectural salvage, paintings and 18th-century furniture.

Ones to watch: Jewelry designer Colby June Fulton, the fine art cinematographers behind Basecamp Visual and the Denver Chair Lady, Ashlee Lampshire, who does beautiful custom upholstery. Interior designer Erika Dowe Fitzgerald of Dowe-Studio is doing some really exciting things, and I also love the work of Denver-based Megan Kane Interiors.

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Photos: Kate Doerksen