My name is Garth Franklin and I’m the owner of the one-man operation Franklin Woodworking. I pride myself in working one on one with my clients to construct heirloom pieces that we can both take great pride in.
I first started woodworking at Colby College when I took an immersive month long furniture building course my sophomore year. I immediately became obsessed with the craft and spent the majority of my free time out at the wood shop between biochemistry labs and lacrosse practice. Upon moving to Utah, I met the talented Chad Parkinson of The Furniture Joint and spent two years under his watchful eye learning the ins and outs of commercial custom furniture building. I started my own business in 2015 and since then have been enjoying the ride of creating custom pieces.
I design and build my furniture to live full lives as cherished heirlooms. Therefore, my pieces display a subtle beauty created through simplicity of form derived from a keen observance of proportion, visible joinery, and highlighting the richness and character of wood grain- predominately North American grown walnut and cherry.
I build with both power and hand tools carefully assessing which tool will be best to create my desired results. The majority of my pieces feature a few types of joinery – pinned mortise and tenon, dovetails, and wedged through tenons. These joints begin at a power tool but are snug fit using hand tools - shoulder planes to fit tenons and careful paring with chisels for dovetails.
I achieve curved forms through steam bending straight grain woods over a form or glue laminating many thin strips together. I highlight the fluid lines of a bent shape in crest rails of chairs and flying buttress struts to support legs to create movement in a piece.
I am highly selective of my lumber to fit best with the component at hand. I use straight grain on pieces that ask the eye to move quickly; door frames and table stretcher and utilize figured woods in select highlights; arm rests, box lids, drawer fronts. When working with slabs I carefully construct bases that compliment the existing form of the live edge.
I achieve extremely smooth surfaces with hand planes on flat surfaces or high grit sanding on curved boards. I use a hand rubbed oil and hard wax on all of my pieces to create a matte surface that highlights the luminescence and chatoyance of the wood grain.
While wood is my muse, I occasionally incorporate other mediums. I frequently make table bases out of steel that I cut and mig weld because of the utilitarian strength that steel offers. I weave Danish chord on benches and chair seats to add a pleasing texture and comfort.
The goal of my craft is to create lasting pieces that will become more valued throughout their lives for their superior construction, gracefully aging materials, and timeless design.