On a Warren County, Ohio country road you will find a family home and business that dates back more than 35 years. Today this house is home not only to David T. Smith and his family, but also to the more than forty-five skilled cabinetmakers, finishers, potters, artists, etc., that the business employs. The village like atmosphere of board and batten shops that encircle the 1720's Connecticut-style salt box home has become known as "The Workshops of David T. Smith".
In the early 1970's, built on the farm David's father purchased in 1929, David completed construction of the home where he, his wife Lora, and three small children would reside. Through the late 70's, while working a full-time job, David began restoring and rebuilding antiques for antique dealers, collectors and museums. He experimented with "aged" painted finishes and developed a line of reproductions to market to the public. By 1980, with local resources for aged lumber and antique parts exhausted, David left his full-time job to devote himself to reproducing American antique furniture reproductions; New England, Shaker and Pennsylvania-German styles. David began experimenting with curly maple and cherry woods. Also working with poplar and pine, which he then would paint, the business began as "David T. Smith - Cabinetmakers and Grainers".
Turtlecreek Potters, still operating on the grounds today, originated in 1984. In an attempt to fulfill the need for quality accessories for his furniture line, David spent many hours in museums and their archives researching early Redware. He developed an authentic lead glaze and built an outdoor wood fired kiln. The result of this was a very authentic line of Redware plates and thrown forms that antique and pottery collectors embraced. With the success of the pottery, and to further create an historical atmosphere, a blacksmith forge and carving shop were added. The business then became "The Workshops of David T. Smith".
Throughout the years, the fine museum quality furniture of The Workshops has been featured in numerous national magazines and publications. In 1990, Rodale Press published American Country Furniture - Projects From The Workshops of David T. Smith, a chronicle and selection of furniture plans. Considered a great success, American Country Furniture sold out in hardback and is now available in paperback form.
While specializing in traditional means of crafting furniture, the modern age takes center stage in the Design Department of The Workshops. Many customers are amazed to see their simple sketch or idea transformed into CAD drawings and fully rendered within minutes. Custom furniture and kitchens can now be viewed practically as a finished product before they are even built.
Their photo archives of Antique furniture, folk art and kitchens are the largest collection of design images that one has ever seen; all of this material is made available to Workshops customers in designing their furniture or kitchens. Since David does his own photography, new images are constantly being added to this archive.
The first kitchen that David designed and built was in his home that he built in 1971. Since that time, he has designed and built over 300 hand made kitchens all over the USA. Every single one was designed as a unique piece to function well and to look as though it was born with the house for which it was built. Nobody in the business has every blended the design/photographic/communication technology of the 21st century, with the style and integrity of 18th century furniture, or developed a kitchen that functions as well and is truly a hand made one of a kind piece of art. David is also adept at designing complementary architectural furniture pieces throughout a house that share the same personality of his kitchens.
David conducts seminars around the country sharing his design skills with those that are designing kitchens for their historic homes. Check out the “Events Calendar” for any upcoming seminars.
David’s wife Lora, daughters Kelly and Julie and son Jason all share his love of the business and are involved in either the art and/or in the every day running of the business.
The Workshops of David T. Smith is also supported by an extended family of employees that work hard every day implementing David’s vision of quality products and intuitive design.
David currently divides his time between The Workshops of David T. Smith in Morrow, and traveling throughout the United States designing furniture & kitchens, and promoting the making of American products within the USA. Look for his work featured in many national magazines and home/design themed books.
Thanks for your interest!
The Workshops of David T. Smith