Live edge, or natural edge wood, incorporates the natural rough edges and characteristics of an original piece of wood into the design of a piece of furniture or home décor, using pieces of salvaged wood that could not otherwise be used in conventional woodworking.
Living Edge Handcrafted Furnishings was founded by Ryan Henderson in 2015. When his love of working with reclaimed wood to create one-of-a-kind furniture as a hobby turned into a full-time career, he knew it was time to upgrade the workshop behind his home into a fully-equipped workspace. Ryan's passion for working with live edge wood and metal began when he was a young boy when he learned tricks of the trade from his grandfather, a professional welder and craftsman. Living and working from his home outside of the city, on the edge of the La Salle River inspires each piece that Ryan creates. He imagines then creates furnishings as unique and long-lasting as the natural world around him.
Every gorgeous piece begins with an idea, which is sketched out and thoughtfully considered.
Working with local arborists, Ryan procures logs that would normally be taken to the dump or turned into firewood. He brings the logs to his shop, mills and kiln-dries them, processes them through sanding and planing the wood which is then used in his furniture.
When purchasing non-local lumber and other species that can’t locally be obtained, he ensures that he only buys from distributors who are members of the Rainforest Alliance and the NHLA (National Hardwood Lumber Association). Then Ryan hand-picks all pieces of wood, ensuring quality and character of wood.
Hand-selected lumber and salvaged logs are brought to the shop and milled down. Then the wood has to be acclimatized or kiln-dried for months before it can be used for his furniture.
Our non-local lumber is sourced through reputable suppliers with eco-qualifications.
Once the lumber is finished drying, the pieces are then planed down to show all their true grain patterns and distinguishable features. After choosing the wood, Ryan imagines a piece of furniture and designs every piece by hand. Once the building process begins, he cuts, joins and glues all the pieces together before delicately hand-sanding each piece. Finally, he stains the wood using only the best water-based environmentally-friendly stains and seals them with a high-end environmentally-friendly sealer.
For any metal legs built, Ryan uses the best high-quality stainless steel (not plated metals) and whenever possible, Ryan tries to find reclaimed and salvaged metal to use for his pieces. He cuts all pieces of metal, then hand-forms if necessary. Once the pieces are cut and formed, he hand TIG welds and sands the metal. Finally, every piece is hand-polished.
We make it part of our mission to use the most sustainable, high-end, environmentally-friendly sealers. We use water-based stains, and have many pieces that are completely 100% reclaimed, from the metal to the wood. We also plant a tree for every piece of furniture we make.