Crafted With Pride In North Carolina

Posted on | June 12, 2013 | No Comments

Like many of you, I am drawn to the color, the grain and character of wood. In the hands of an expert craftsman, this natural beauty is wonderfully transformed into works of art, seen and used in every area of the home. I recently sat down with one such North Carolina craftsman, Jim Freeman, of Freeman Wood Crafters, in Stoneville. I listened to Jim describe the lifelong passion he has for his work. Whether the destination of a custom made piece is the Carolinas, across the United States or another Continent, for Jim and his wife Susan, each is a future heirloom fated to be enjoyed by coming generations.

Images Courtesy of Freeman Wood Crafters ©

Woodworking may be in Jim’s blood but he prefers to describe it as “good fortune.” As a young man he had the opportunity to work along his father and uncle building houses. “We did 100% of the woodwork in the houses – the cabinets, the vanities – everything in the house that you could think of that was made of wood.” While others might have been put off by the fact that the two older men were perfectionists, Jim attributes this to his success in learning his craft. “My dad also learned from his uncle, so it’s been passed down to the third generation. I still use some of my great uncle’s tools today in my shop.”

The projects that Freeman Wood Crafters takes on are as varied as are the visions and needs of their clients. From custom furniture, entertainment centers, entry doors and desks to kitchen cabinets, custom islands and bathroom vanities, as well as cradles, bunk beds and king sized beds – the one thing all the projects have in common is the satisfaction Jim experiences when each one is complete. “When I see a client’s eyes light up and hear them say, ‘that is exactly what I had envisioned,’ well, there isn’t another feeling quite like that.”

According to Jim, the great thing about being a custom woodworking shop is that you are small enough and fluid enough to adapt to any design need. “Some folks that come to us with an idea and we design it in house. We also have others that show up and say, ‘this is the design I want, can you create it?’ Either way, we are able to address their need. I can be working on an entry door system and the next person comes in and says, ‘we want this custom molding in our house,’ – we can accommodate that – and have done so.”

Jim does confess to having a favorite project – the Parker Vanity from the Forms & Fixtures line which Freeman Wood Crafters is licensed to craft. The vanity is a radius front case with facets on it. “It’s the first one we ever built from Forms & Fixtures. It was a challenge when we got it. Nothing would work in a repetitive motion and nothing was true. We worked on it with a designer, and while maintaining the look, we and got it to where it is now repeatable. I ‘m not sure how fond Sue is of it, with a hundred and some surfaces for her to sand, just on the door. It really is a beautiful piece.”

As a craftsman, part of the excitement for Jim comes in determining how each piece is going to be made. “You have the design, but I also like the challenge that comes with figuring out how I am going to get to the end product. I enjoy in my mind designing how I am going to get there. I get to take it from my mind, to my hands, to my tools. I find that very satisfying.”

Whether it is a Parker Vanity or a one of a kind cabinet that Freeman Wood Crafters is creating for their customer, Jim and Susan can assure you that each piece is crafted with pride in Stoneville, North Carolina.

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