The Stanley Bed in Eastern Black Walnut

stanley-bed-cropped1

 

VERUS Stanley Bed with natural top edges as shown in Eastern Black Walnut (Juglans nigra), is a modified version of our original Stanley Bed. For this version,we have chosen to leave the natural log edge intact, after debarking, on the top edge of the headboard. Its a subtle reference to the origin of the timber, without becoming cloyingly so. A closer look will reveal our signature attention to board match. Rather than the factory approach of glueing up narrow boards from various logs at best, or more commonly, veneers over particle board, we always carefully match exceptionally wide boards, sawn in sequence that we can finish without the necessity of wood stains. This presents an “unmuddied” grain appearance with no artificial colour. This is our signature approach to every VERUS piece we make, essentially a way of respecting a 60+ year old tree by bulding furniture that brings out the inherent beauty this wonderful, sustainable resource.

 

Notice that the “cathedrals”, or flat grain arches on the headboard, are matched and are never truncated. The side, foot and head rails are cut from matched 2″ thick lumber instead of mass-production 1″ material, to ensure stability and strength and to add slightly more mass to an otherwise light scale design.

This image shows The Stanley Bed designed for use without boxspring. However, like all of our beds, we can build it to accept mattress and boxspring.

At Form & Function we offer The Stanley Bed  in a number of solid hardwood choices, commonly Cherry (Prunus serotina) Tiger Maple (Acer rubrum) and rift-sawn White Oak (Quercus alba)

And of course, we offer a wide open range of bedroom storage options to complement The Stanley Bed – night tables, chests of drawers, wall-mounted shelves, mirrors and more.

This image also shows our Organic Royal-Pedic Natural Latex Mattress with separate top Comfort Pad for a pure sleep environment free of petroleum-based urethane foam and questionable fire-retardant chemicals. At FORM & FUNCTION, we have always believed that the room where you spend 1/3 of your life should always be not just restful and beautiful, but also toxin-free.

The VERUS Breadboard Table

VERUS breadboard table designed and built by Form & Function

Through-mortise and corbel

Breadboard detail with Walnut pins

For more than 15 years, our VERUS Breadboard Table has been a favorite design at Form & Function.

The Arts and Crafts details like the apron tenons brought through and exposed on each leg, and the corbel supports, reference a solidity and strength, key elements of this style.
The breadboard ends are uniquely joined by square Walnut pins, which connect these elements in a “floating joint,” without any glue needed. In fact, the breadboard ends cannot be fastened with glue or else the table top will not be able to expand and contract, as solid wood does throughout seasonal weather changes. The Breadboard table shown including top, apron and corbel supports has been hand-crafted in our workshop, using three sequentially-sawn Cherry boards from the same massive Black Cherry log. This technique allows us to offer perfect matching grain and colour. The legs have been cut from one Cherry board, 3″ thick, to ensure there are no unsightly lamination lines to interrupt the flow of grain. At Form & Function, we have no “standard” sizes for this table or any of our other table designs. We build it to suit the room size and number of people, and it may be a fixed size or it may have one or multiple leaves. We can build it without the corbels or through-tenons for a more contemporary room, the legs can be tapered for a lighter look, and even the top thickness can be varied to suit the scale of the space. To learn more about this table, or to inquire about other pieces, please contact us.

The VERUS Bow-End Table, Curly Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

Our VERUS Bow-End Table is a variation of our 1989 Shaker-influenced Canterbury Table. The added details include 2 bread-boarded, bow-end pieces  attached to each end of the table top using dry-fitted tenons which are “pinned” by square pegs of Black Walnut.  There is no glue used, so the joint can move with the seasons. This shows a delightful “evidence of the hand”, rarely seen in factory-made furniture. It requires a very skillful hand to execute perfectly. One slip of the square-mortising chisel and the top is ruined! The legs are also given a little added dimension in the top section.

The table shown is a fixed size, which we build to suit the room  size and number of chairs to be accomodated. Like all of our VERUS tables, it is also available with one or multiple leaves in any width or length. Not sure of the optimum size for your room or not-yet-built room? Just call and talk to Susan!  She lives and breathes space-planning, and will gladly help with your architect’s or builder’s floor plans. If its an existing room, she always suggests a visit to check dimensions, scale of the room and details of any existing furniture.

Bye bye brass, hello Cherrywood and glass


Lynne’s bright and shiny brass & glass coffee table has found a new home, and we think her new Elizabeth Cherrywood (Prunus serotina) conversation table is adjusting very nicely to its new home. We gave George Johnstone a break from all the heavy dininig tables he’s been making, and he enjoyed fitting the mitred top together beautifully, and making sure the 10mm bevelled glass insert fitted exactly.

New Elizabeth Bar Stool

We’ve been building our Elizabeth Chair for a number of years, but this is our first Elizabeth Bar Stool. Under the watchful eye of Ian Johnstone, our newest team member, Nick Blacklaws,did a beautiful job of building a matched pair of Curly Cherrywood stools.

Although this quick pic is of one of the stools just 2 days old, you can easily see the curly figure starting to show. This will develop over the next year or two to show the spectacular result of  carefully-matched Curly Black Cherrywood  (Prunus serotina).

Enjoy your gorgeous new bar stools, Rob!

The Birth Of A Table

This is an example of a beautiful Black Cherrywood log which we recently purchased. You can see that it has been sawn into a number of planks of even thickness, ideal for a large dining table or two. We are very fortunate to have a close relationship  with a family-owned sawmill located near the finest sustainably-harvested Black Cherrywood in the world. Their sawing method, known as “through and through sawing”, yields maximum width boards which are perfectly matched in grain and colour. This allows us to build table tops, cabinet drawer faces etc. of very wide, matched boards, completely different from even the highest grades of factory-built furniture. The logs we buy are also far above North American “grading rules”. In fact, our log buyer competes with veneer log buyers who choose only the crème de la crème of hardwood logs. Do all these considerations make for furniture that is stronger or more durable? Not necessarily; that is up to the skill of the furniture maker as he planes, edge-joints and assembles a piece of furniture. But it certainly produces a more beautiful result, with each Cherrywood board flowing harmoniously into the next. It also allows the finisher to bring out the colour and natural figure of the wood without the need for stains, since the colour is matched perfectly.

The Panel Bed

We think it is way overdue to get back in touch with our blog readers! We started this little blog just over a year ago with very good intentions to show you what we’re working on every week or so. Well, the road to online hell is paved with many a good intention. But better late than never, so here we go. Our workshop has been busier than ever during this last year. In fact, we’re feeling a little embarrassed by the paucity of pieces on our showroom floor, but customers work takes priority!

The VERUS Panel Bed has been off the floor for way too long, so we thought a pic might be helpful for now. We finally have one in the works and should have it to show before the end of June. We’re building a little more contemporary version than the pic above – fewer panels, with the top rails covering the tops of the legs and a modfied curve on the top rails. We’re also looking forward to showing this new floor piece with the amazing Cherrywood we’ve been sourcing for just over a year. We now work with the entire Cherry log (or Walnut, Curly Maple or White Oak log) to ensure perfect colour & grain match.  Suffice to say, its like we’ve been a chef shopping at a supermarket for over 20 years, and we’ve just discovered an organic farm that delivers directly to us. More on this later!

(photo note: We had a rather short focal length lens when we shot this pic. So the footboard looks a little larger than it is in reality.)

VERUS. Made Right. Right Here in Canada

At FORM & FUNCTION we have long believed that we can build furniture in Canada that is easily the match of furniture from Italy or the USA or any other country with large furniture factories. And that any cost advantage from “economy of scale” is now being countered by the ever increasing costs of fluctuating currencies, ocean freight, import duties and expensive advertising and marketing costs. The only furniture we cannot make at home is our outdoor product line. And that is primarily because the only Teak lumber available to us is Teak from Burma. It is widely thought that most of the profit from the unsustainable logging of Teak in Burma goes to the undemocratically-elected military junta..

And now, more than ever before, we are acutely aware of the “multiplier effect” of a dollar spent in support of community-based businesses, especially those which manufacture their products in their own community. And, that very low price often goes hand in hand with high social cost.

 And so, at FORM & FUNCTION, we feel it is time to introduce our new name for our range of hand-crafted hardwood furniture which we design, build and finish right here in our own Vancouver workshop. We have chosen the name VERUS, from the Latin word for true. This is furniture without falseness. If we say Cherry, we mean solid Cherry lumber, not a face of Cherry with a heart of fibre board. If we say Walnut, we are referring to solid Black Walnut lumber, not Walnut-stained birch or a paper-thin Walnut veneer over MDF.

 Fundamental to our approach with VERUS is a respect for the craft of the maker. We reject the factory model of modern furniture manufacturing, where one person makes doors, another makes shelves, another installs hardware and so on. In the VERUS shop, one person handcrafts each piece, from selection of lumber to final sanding. The pride of craftsmanship in each table, chair and cabinet will speak for generations. The rejection of the multiple-piece factory model also affords us a unique advantage relative to most furniture retailers. We make every piece of furniture for you, based on your unique needs. If your sideboard needs to be precisely 38” high, it will be so. If your dining table must seat 4 people day to day, but expand to seat 10, you shall have it. We think that to not have such options would be like shopping for shoes in a store that has only 3 sizes. And we warrantee that our furniture will never go out of style or wear out! But, if it ever needs “polishing”, we’ll take care of it.

 There is much more to tell you about our VERUS furniture, like our non-toxic wood finishes, remarkable flitch-sawn wide lumber, and professional interior design service. We invite your inquiries, whether you need a small table or a long term, whole house plan. In a few weeks we hope to start posting images of a good number of VERUS pieces, so please check back soon.

 

 

What is furniture for keeps?

At Form & Function, we’re committed to offering you a range of furniture that is not only beautifully constructed, but is also healthy, earth-friendly and becomes an integral part of your life. We call this “furniture for keeps.”

_V_Craftsman-Pedestal-TableOur primary focus is on our own in-house hardwood designs. Ian Johnstone, our master builder for over 20 years, has worked with us to develop an ever-growing catalogue of tables, chairs, beds and casework, bench-made of North America’s finest hardwoods.

 

B_Royal-Pedic-closeup-2_mc

 

outdoor

 

We also work closely with a carefully-edited number of family-owned manufacturers whose approach to materials and craftsmanship mirrors that of our own workshop. We began Form & Function almost 30 years ago and we have much to tell you about what we’ve learned along the way. Our new website is almost ready, so we ask you to bookmark this page and check back soon!