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What is an Heirloom? ~ September 2019

Unity Tree

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, furniture was prized as part of a person’s estate. Before mass production, each piece of furniture was painstakingly crafted and carried with it the stories of both the maker and the owners.

An heirloom is more than superior craftsmanship. It is the repository of memories handed down from generation to generation.

For example, Katherine recently wrote to me and asked if I could customize the Unity Tree design for her parents 50th wedding anniversary.

I am writing to inquire about your Unity Tree lamp. I was wondering if it’s possible to do the shade with ginkgo leaves? This would be for a gift for my parents 50th wedding anniversary...really thought the unity tree was a great symbol for their marriage.

The Unity Tree symbolizes the joining of two families and the Ginkgo tree is often associated with love and longevity. Both are perfect for symbolizing this couple’s enduring commitment to one another for over half a century.

After they received the heirloom lamp, I reached out to Katherine to find out how her parents enjoyed the design.

They absolutely loved it! My mom said it’s the first thing, now, that they turn on in the morning and the last thing in the evening.

I am attaching some photos. It is the perfect compliment to the Greene and Greene inspired furniture my dad builds!

Thank you so very much.

There is always great meaning in doing these types of designs. I don't approach the work any differently. There is only one way to do this work and that is to stay with it until it's what it should be. But it is special for me when I know how much sentiment is involved.

This particular project wasn't about creating a lamp. It was about creating a keepsake that symbolized the extraordinary journey of 50 years of marriage. It was about crafting a family heirloom to hold the memories of this extraordinary couple.

Thank you Katherine for allowing me to contribute to your family’s legacy. ~William

Note: This was a one-of-a-kind design.

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