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December 17, 2017 / 4:18 pm EST

Furniture and Accessories

Cliff Spencer
Cliff Spencer Feb 10, 2012
Turns Furniture into Art Using Reclaimed Wood

In order to appreciate the unique style and quality of the furniture and cabinetry made by Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker, it may be best to see samples of his work. Until you see the beautifully colored wood used thanks to a special reclaiming process, or browse through the unique coffee tables, tables made from reused doors or smooth, comfortable rocking chairs, you may not understand how truly unique each handmade piece is. Once you see them, you may not rest until you have a Cliff Spencer piece in your own home.


A Los Angeles, CA, based wood worker, Cliff Spencer didn't always craft sustainable, eco-friendly wood pieces. In fact, when he came to California, it was to work in the film industry. A position in a cabinet shop provided income and eventually led him to discover that he had found his calling. The film industry's loss was the woodworking world's gain, for since he's opened his own shop, he has been the recipient of the 2011 Best of Marina del Ray Award, along with features in many publications. At his woodworking shop, Cliff makes commissioned furniture, custom cabinetry and specialized wood finishing. In addition to his unique style, Cliff uses unique materials that mean no two pieces are ever going to be alike.


Most of the items made by Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker are made with reclaimed wood. Where does the wood come from? It's been reclaimed from companies that threw it out, backyard trees, firewood and the California Materials Exchange. It was through the Exchange that Cliff discovered his reclaimed wood Nirvana: oak wine staves from a Napa Valley Winery. It was from this wood that he created his signature "wine oak," which is not a new species of tree but a piece of wood that has been colored by the special fermenting process of the vat it was once a part of. From the deeper purple color of the Pinot Noir to the lighter stain of the Pinot Grigio, the wine oak wood is something you won't find anywhere else. Cliff is also not afraid to tackle lesser known but more readily available wood such as elm, eucalyptus and mesquite, and he also seeks out faster growing trees for the ecological benefits of using those species.


Once the unique materials are in his shop, it is up to Cliff to search out the fine piece of furniture or cabinetry that is lurking within the seemingly motley collection of lumber. Once the pieces are cut, planed, laminated together or sanded, the purpose of each piece becomes clear. Another aspect of woodworking in this furniture maker's shop that is just as important as the wood itself is the finish. Cliff makes every effort to use natural finishes, such as that of the wine oak, low-VOC or water-based lacquers, or natural oils. This ensures that the furniture pieces are safe to occupy a place of honor inside your home.


While Cliff Spencer makes custom pieces for individuals, he also works with interior designers, general contractors and architects. In fact, using his pieces in your project can actually help generate LEED points, plus earn extra points if the finished item is used within a 500 mile radius of the lumber sources and Cliff Spencer's LA-based shop. Whether it's a set of kitchen cabinets that provide a "wow" factor, or unique doors that will be the talk of the room, you can be certain that your furniture will be unique, carefully crafted and made with the environment in mind.


The items we place in our homes are a representation of our individual styles and should also serve to be functional, beautiful and simple. Cliff Spencer makes furniture that will become a treasured addition to your home without compromising your commitment to the environment in the name of style.

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