In the heart of Bristol, Virginia lies an innovative woodworking company, Black Copper Woodworking, renowned for its unique craftsmanship and artistic vision. The mastermind behind this flourishing venture is Justin VanHoy, an artist at his core who found his muse in the textures, colors, and patterns of wood. Born out of VanHoy's passion for creating, Black Copper Woodworking represents a lifelong dream turned reality.
Growing up, Justin was innately "crafty" and had a deep-seated fascination with building things. It was this interest, coupled with the inspiration from countless table making videos online, that fueled his journey towards becoming a self-taught furniture maker. Initially a hobby, Justin's artistic flair soon caught people's attention, turning his woodworking pastime into a thriving business.
The COVID-19 pandemic, although a challenging period, served as an unexpected catalyst for Black Copper Woodworking. As more people spent time at home and began renovating, they discovered Justin's exceptional work. Thus, in a time of global strife, his woodworking business exploded in popularity.
A crucial aspect of Black Copper's ethos lies in its focus on sustainability and respect for nature. Justin prefers to use reclaimed wood, salvaged from forest fires, emphasizing his commitment to preserving old-growth trees. The majority of the wood, resplendent with history and character, comes from California and Oregon. Finding sources for this older wood required a year of research and developing contacts across the country, demonstrating Justin's unwavering dedication to his craft.
The salvaged wood, especially curly walnut and burled redwood, holds a unique appeal for Justin due to their size and fascinating appearance. A tree's "figure," the patterns and markings found in its grain, reflects the unique trials and tribulations it has faced. These trees bear the imprints of various seasons, disruptions in the normal grain, color and form changes from injuries, molds, insects, and fungi. Justin believes that time, with its transformative power, is the only element capable of making something so distinct and intriguing.
At Black Copper Woodworking, the customer's vision forms the heart of each creation. Justin endeavors to understand their preferred color and type of wood, sources options for them, and discusses price, style, and value. The clients' desires range widely: some wish for a specific table costing around $6,000, while others, enamored with a particular wood, may spend up to $15,000 on a single piece of wood.
Each project is a journey of creative discovery for Justin, with the vision stage and the finishing process being his favorites. The finishing process, particularly, is a moment of revelation, where the chosen color truly comes to life, transforming the piece of furniture into a work of art.
Black Copper Woodworking takes on both residential and commercial projects. Justin's portfolio boasts the VIP dining section of a hotel, graced with a 33-foot bar top, and Juan Siao, a restaurant in Johnson City, among other projects. Justin's delight in the idea of his patrons enjoying their meals at his tables is palpable. His dedication to quality is reflected in the meticulous craftsmanship of his pieces, with a typical table taking three to five weeks to complete.
To complete his creations, Justin often designs metal bases for his tables, outsourcing their creation to local craftspeople, further strengthening his commitment to supporting the local community.
Black Copper Woodworking stands as a testament to Justin VanHoy's love for his craft, his environmental consciousness, and his innate ability to bring customers' visions to life. For those who appreciate the raw beauty and inherent uniqueness of wood, Black Copper Woodworking is more than just a furniture shop; it is a haven of artistic creations.