The Maryland Guide - May 19, 2022

The Guide • 5-18-22 could say I am the academic,” Beggins describes. “I see the end result and how to attain it. Jim McMartin is more creative and intuitive. He comes from an artistic family and has an innate sense for design.” When it comes to craftsmanship, neither knows the meaning of compromise. Each custom piece of high-quality furniture is hand-built “properly and in the traditional manner,” McMartin says. “Just as it was done 200 years ago during the Federal Period (1790-1830), we’re guided by the Period, using its time-honored methods and techniques to execute our designs.” It can take up to 400 hours or more to complete a large or intricate piece like a bombe`chest or banquet table. McMartin will produce detailed graphite drawings for each commissioned piece. His drawings are to scale, and he presents them directly to the vides the craftsmen and the client with a unique sense of satisfaction. Despite today’s world of instant grati cation, classic furniture remains timeless. “ is is what it’s all about,” says McMartin, “designing and building something that can be passed on to future generations. Working with wood also has a way of keeping us connected to the natural rhythms of the world around us.” client. “It’s all about the visual, as each of our clients has very speci c needs,” Beggins explains. “Being able to actually see the result takes the guesswork out of the process.” ese artisans rely on local wood as much as possible – walnut, cherry, cypress, catalpa, oak, pine, and others. e pieces are hand-milled and airdried on site before the initial cut is made. McMartin explains that wood is forever moving, uniformly expanding and contracting across the grain. “Understanding this concept,” he says, “enables a craftsman to compensate for the phenomenon and build a structurally sound piece of furniture.” Often, a project will be made from a client’s own wood; something that pro-