Natural Furniture Design
Beautiful and unique objects for your home and garden
that will last a lifetime
Thomas Louthen draws inspiration from the world around him to create beautiful rustic furniture. As a high school student in Columbus, Ohio, Louthen began to experiment with woodworking and the shaping of metals. His skill and interest prompted teachers to encourage him to pursue a career teaching industrial arts, but Louthen wanted something else. He knew even then that he longed to make a living creating beautiful things that had the power of art.
Louthen’s path to building furniture was filled with many twists and turns. A tour of duty in Vietnam intervened, and after the war he felt unsettled. He journeyed to the Western U.S., Alaska, and Vancouver and supported himself by making jewelry. For over 5 years, Louthen experimented with elaborate pieces in his own style, and his art earned him many devoted customers. But after returning to his home in the Hocking Hills, his interests turned from creating jewelry to creating a home for his new wife and family. Together they built a house and a studio, made almost entirely of natural and recycled materials. Many materials came from an old Amish barn, which they dismantled and reassembled into a new shape.
This work was the
genesis of his furniture design business. Louthen discovered the
beauty of wood and stone and a love of carving. And he found himself
looking at natural objects from a new, utilitarian point of view. On
walks around his country acres, he’d examine what he saw. How can I
turn these objects into something uniquely functional, he'd ask, and
yet preserve their natural beauty?
His answers might sometimes surprise, but seldom fail to delight. As you might suspect, a fierce sense of independence is evident in his work. Some people might even consider it "far out" because of the unpredictable shapes and textures, since anything in nature is a potential object for his art. But in the end, his designs impress with their balance, and the dignity and authority that he draws from the natural world. From his home in southern Ohio, the heart of hardwood country and land of rugged rock formations such as those at Old Man's Cave and Cantwell Cliffs, Louthen finds inspiration and much to work with.
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