Friday, November 30, 2012

THANKFUL for this Magnificent Mesquite Adventure

As November days speed to a final end we find ourselves so very thankful for the many wonderful people who have made this magnificent mesquite adventure possible. 
The Gallery at
The loyal client base that has after a first experience in creating a custom, mesquite piece with Lou Quallenberg, then come back for a second, third (or even more) commissioned piece. Our client's privacy and confidentiality is always protected and treated with absolute respect so we won't reveal names. They know who they are and we applaud them each and every one for their support and friendship. Without them Lou would not be able to do what he does with mesquite. Our clients past, present and future are the biggest blessing we have as a furniture making company. We can't do this without you so we THANK YOU for your interest and investment in Lou Quallenberg Studios.

Our dear friends Karl and Mary Rhodes who are always there to lend a hand, a truck, a trailer, a camera, book, magazine or whatever else might be needed in the moment. Their sweet and thoughtful encouragement and friendship has helped tame this rocky road we have been traveling on. We could not have done it without you both.

Eva and Tyson Broad, the muse and her mister, for allowing us to use their beautiful home as a gallery and storehouse for the uncommissioned larger pieces of Lou's work that are not in a show, gallery or showroom. It was Eva that first tempted Lou to try his hand in mesquite. Her table is the piece that launched this beautiful journey in mesquite. She is the mesquite muse. They also provide a safe, warm and loving home for our Barney (and previously Louie) when we must travel for a show, delivery or a much needed break.

Thanks go out to Steve Walker and the Walker family for allowing the shop to be built on their home site.  Steve's creative and engineering mind has helped many undo able projects come to fruition. His constant tinkering has kept old machines running and created impressive jigs.  Without his packing skills we would certainly be at a loss and probably need more than one truck or trailer.

Shawn Walker for his dedication to learning the craft and dutiful sanding.  His calm driving skills and ability to handle a trailer have gotten us on time to deliveries and long distance shows.

Heather Walker Martin for never saying "NO". Whether it is to ride along to the show to check on a piece. to let Barney out for a much needed bathroom break, unload a trailer of wood or take me to then store when I am not feeling well and cannot drive. She is always there for us.

Mesquite and Pecan Cabinet / Hutch by Lee Westphal
Many thanks go to Mary Frances Camp and Jesse Handel of Galeria 19 Fine Art for the beautiful Gallery space and knowledgeable representation that they have provided for the past year in Fredericksburg, Texas. They treat Lou's mesquite pieces as art and that is after all what we have been reaching for: Art that functions as furniture. We are thankful to be a part of such a thoughtful and beautiful art collection. Check them out when you are in Fredericksburg or look around online

We thank Ann & Barry Bradley of Artisans at Rocky Hill who allowed us to be a part of their Gallery for several years and knew from a business standpoint when it was time to go our separate ways. Stop by and see the wonderful works by their Texas and Hill Country artists.

We have to thank the guys that keep our mesquite inventory slabbed, planed and kiln dried. For the regular sized stuff Lee Westphal at Sage Creek Farms does a spectacular job milling and air drying. We appreciate Lee and Kristina's friendship. They also make wonderful soaps and other handmade gifts. So check them out online at: 
Brandon Berdoll's Pecan Slab Table

This pecan and mesquite hutch created by Lee Westphal would make a great gift for someone special. It won a Judges Special Award at the 13th Annual Texas Furniture Makers Show which ends December 8th.

For milling our oversized logs and kiln drying our inventory we use the very professional services of Brandon Berdoll at Berdoll Sawmill. Check out the website: and like them on facebook: HERE  

Brandon Berdoll's pecan table won an Honorable Mention at the 13th Annual Texas Furniture Makers Show  and would make another great gift! (Sorry for the poor quality image it really is beautiful.)

Speaking of the 13th Annual Texas Furniture Makers Show we say a HUGE round of THANK YOU'S to this year's Chairman Larry Moss and Judges:

Philip C. Lowe is an award winning furniture maker, author, and founder of The Furniture Institute of Massachusetts, internationally known for its dedication to excellence in the art of classical woodworking techniques applied to the art of furniture design and construction. In 2005, Phil received the Cartouche Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Society of American Period Furniture Makers and in 2010 he was granted the 2010 Bulfinch Award for Artisanship presented by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America.

Gordon McDougal is the owner of McDougal Gallery of Fine Woodworking in San Antonio. Gordon completed a one-year apprenticeship with Jeff Green of Bucks County, PA, and attended the Marc Adams School of Woodworking where he earned a Masters Level Certificate in Woodworking.

Randy Johnson is the Editor in Chief for American Woodworker and Woodwork magazines in Eagan, MN. Randy studied art and industrial arts education at the U. of Wisconsin-River Falls and later received a Master’s degree in Industrial Technology Education from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, with an emphasis in furniture construction and design. Prior to joining the media world, Randy owned a custom furniture business specializing in the designing and building of custom furniture. 

Lou Quallenberg's Award Winning Sculpted Mesquite Coffee Table "Drift" (Photo by Chris Kemler)
They awarded Lou Quallenberg's "Drift" Table the "Best Texas Style" Award. This makes it the fourth time he has won this award. (See them ALL on our website here: Texas Furniture Makers Show.) Lou's Drift Mesquite Coffee Table also won the WOODCRAFT® Award chosen by the sponsor from WOODCRAFT®.    Read more about the "Drift" table at: Eyes IN and next months  mesquite musings blog post.

The Show ENDS December 8th, 2012
Full hall table
Frank Strazza's Exquisite Table
First Place (Best of Show)
Frank Strazza, Waco TX "Roses" Federal Style Hall Table

Second Place
Randolph Secrest, Spicewood TX Trunk

Third Place
Bert Ray, Wimberley TX "Blossom Table II"

Best Contemporary Style
James Breaux, San Antonio TX Haidinger's Brush" Table

Best Traditional Style
Caleb James, Katy TX Settee

Best Texas Style
Lou Quallenberg, Llano TX "Drift" Coffee Table

Best Art Style
Jeremy Grubb, Dickinson TX "Rising Sun" Console

Best Apprentice
John Burton, Arlington TX Blanket Chest

Woodcraft’s People’s Choice
Frank Strazza, Waco TX "Roses" Federal Style Hall Table

Judges’ Special Award / Fine Woodworking®
Lee Westphal, Burnet TX Display Cabinet

Judges’ Special Award / Alamo Hardwoods
Brooke M. Davis, Austin TX Intertwined Series: Bench

Judges’ Special Award / Alamo Hardwoods
Barry Bradley, Fredericksburg TX "Smoke Signals" Table

Judges’ Special Award / Allen & Allen
Danny Kamerath, Dallas TX "Kampa" Coffee Table

Judges’ Special Award / Dakota Premium Hardwood
Leo Litto, Austin TX Work Table

Furniture Committee Award /Artisans at Rocky Hill
Mark Seay, Plano TX Wind Rose Table

SAPFM Award / Society of American Period Furniture Makers
W. Malcolm Granberry, Houston TX Spine Chest

Woodturners’ Choice Award / Hill Country Turners
Caleb James, Katy TX Settee

Woodcraft® Sponsor’s Award
Lou Quallenberg, Llano TX "Drift" Coffee Table

Johnny Jones Sponsor's Award
Jon Percy, Austin TX "Fallen Leaves" Bench

Honorable Mentions:
Carl Powell, Bartlett TX KOA Top Table

Wayne Locke, Austin TX Chair

Wayne Delyea, Granbury TX Rocking Chair

Brad Dawson, Kemah TX Curio/Display Cabinet

Brandon Berdoll, Cedar Creek TX Spalted Pecan Coffee Table

Finally thanks go out to our MANY artist friends that provide advice, insight, encouragement and most importantly inspiration.  Please remember to support an artist this holiday season. Buy your gifts locally first, then Texas made, and finally Made in the USA!
See a list of some of our artist friends here:  ART and ARTISTS
Now is the time to...
support an artist

They bring beauty into our world.
They look at things differently.
They inspire us to be more creative.
Yet very few of them make good livings.
They enhance our lives and deserve encouragement.
Look for those who move you.
Support them where you can.