Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mesquite Furniture: "Made in Texas" feature in Tex Appeal

 Lou Quallenberg Studios' Mesquite Furniture is featured in the  
"Made in Texas" article in the June 2013 Issue of 
Tex Appeal Magazine with:   
Anderson Bean Boots of  Mercedes, Texas,   
Garrison Brothers Distillery of Hye, Texas,  
Laerdal of Gatesville, Texas,   
Heart of Texas Olive Oil  of Georgetown, Texas 
Gray Rock Soap  of Burnet, Texas.

 The "Made in Texas" Article in the June 2013 Issue of Tex Appeal Magazine

Check out the entire article online here:
Read the full magazine online here:

June 2013 Cover of Tex Appeal Magazine

 The "Made in Texas" Article in the June 2013 Issue of Tex Appeal Magazine

The Tex Appeal Magazine Interview
  1. How long have you been making furniture? I started making Mesquite Furniture in 2004
  2. How did you get started in making furniture? I have always built and designed photography sets, furniture, and other items even in my youth. I started building Mesquite Furniture as a business in 2004 when a friend asked me to create a table for her using mesquite. It took off like crazy from there.
  3. Of all woods, why do you use mesquite wood? I fell in love with it after the first time I used it. Mesquite is a hard, gnarly wood with a unique beauty.
  4. What unique features does mesquite wood have?  It's unusual character flaws, holes, cracks, crevices and grain make it difficult to work but a real stand out once it is finished.
  5. What is it in a piece of wood that inspires you to make a piece of furniture? (shape, size, etc.?) I try to use the wood to its natural beauty. It could be the shape, curve, a hole, or the movement and pattern in the grain.  
  6. Where do you find the wood? My Mesquite is from trees that ranchers in South Texas are having removed from their fields. I have also retrieved fallen or dead trees from yards, golf courses and other unlikely spots.  I definitely do not go around cutting living trees down just to create wood for my work. The special pieces usually end up finding me.
  7. Do you use power tools, hand-tools—combination of both? I use both power tools and hand tools.
  8. Do you make things other than furniture? My work has taken a more sculptural turn and I am working more and more in that direction.
  9. Are there any unique processes involved in working with mesquite? I create mesquite laminate to make some of my curves. The wood is cut into thin 1/8" planks and then stacked back together shaped into a curved jig and then epoxied together creating a curved piece that is just as strong or stronger than a piece of solid wood.
  10. Do you have any formal training in art or furniture making? I was a commercial photographer for 27 years before that I was raised in a photography Studio/School and grew up learning from several masters but I have no formal training in furniture and or art. I guess it just comes naturally :)
  11. Who’s art or work inspire you most? Van Gogh, Wharton Eschrick and more currently David Savage in the UK. I find inspiration in lots of things especially the female form.
  12. Where are you from originally? I was born and raised in New Jersey  And what drew you to Llano? My wife is from Texas and her family has a ranch out this way. Llano was a good central location with the beauty of the Hill Country plus a scenic river. It is real hard to take a Texas Girl out of Texas and she promised me a Harley if I made the move again.
  13. What would you say is your “style” of design? That is a good question we often have a hard time classifying it. Organic? Slightly contemporary? Hill Country Chic? Maybe your readers could help us find a name? We are open to suggestions.....
  14. Any key points about the elements of design in your work? Its all about curves, flow and connection.
  15. Do you take your work to art shows or other galleries? I am currently represented by Marta Stafford Fine Art in Marble Falls, Texas I like to do more Gallery Style shows so I do the Texas Furniture Makers Show in Kerrville, Texas  I have done the Western Design Conference in Cody Wyoming as well as it's current location Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  I currently have such a busy schedule that it is hard to make time for shows.
  16. Can you tell us a little about your gallery in Llano? I do not have a gallery in Llano at this time.
  17. Do you teach any classes? I have done demonstrations but do not teach any classes right now. I do have a few videos on YouTube.
  18. Commissioned pieces…do people bring you pieces of mesquite and ask you to make something out of it? Or do they come to you with a specific need-- type of piece and ask you to design it? Usually they come with a need for a piece with certain size requirements. I show them slabs from my inventory that might work or we take our chances with a solid log and they go through the entire process we call: tree to table. That includes the mill where it is slabbed and the kiln where it is dried for about 12 weeks. We send photographs throughout the process and some clients have them made into a coffee table book about their coffee table.
  19. Of all your creations…what has been your most favorite piece you’ve made and why? Dancing Trees which is seven large slabs of Mesquite used to create a screen in front of a curved window in a private Chapel.    This piece holds a special place in my heart first because the wood came from one amazing tree in a gentleman's yard in San Angelo.  Second because this project stretched me to my limits and launched me into more sculptural work.  The man never got to see the Dancing Trees in person because he passed away but his family did and said it came full circle because their family originally came to the US from Spain building Missions. To have his tree in a chapel was very important to both him and his family.

What is your public contact info?
Phone: 325-247-4303 Email: info @
Shop Visit and Client Consultation
By Appointment Only

What awards/accomplishments have you received?
2013 Llano County Journal  
Readers Choice Awards
Best Local Artist

2012 Best Texas Style
Texas Furniture Makers Show

2012 WOODCRAFT® Award
Texas Furniture Makers Show

2011 Furniture Committee Award
Texas Furniture Makers Show

British Airways
Face of Opportunity Award

Best Texas Style (3 years in a row!!!)

Best Texas Style Furniture
2010 Texas Furniture Makers Show
Curves Coffee Table

Best Texas Style Furniture
2009 Texas Furniture Makers Show
Mesquite Partners Desk

Best Texas Style Furniture
2008 Texas Furniture Makers Show
"Sister" Mesquite Coffee Table

Best Art Furniture
2005 Texas Furniture Makers Show
Mesquite Coffee Table

In case you missed the April/May issue of Western Art & Architecture Magazine our Mesquite Left Side "Sanders Nightstand" was featured as one of their "THINGS WE LOVE" in the section titled "THINGS WE LOVE".   We LOVE Western Art & Architecture's Magazine and now have reason to REALLY love it! Thank you for the mention it is so appreciated! We also love many of the "Things" they featured so be sure to check it out.
Featured as THINGS WE LOVE in April/May Issue of Western Art & Architecture

We feel really blessed to receive such great media attention as we continue along this journey of mesquite furniture making. Sometimes when you are so busy working away and your head is covered deep in sawdust you forget that this is some of the the "IT" that we have been striving for. THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed along the way. Stay tuned because there is SO much more to come....