To Wayne Delyea, the art of furniture making is about challenging himself to turn a dream into reality. That’s why he’s stuck with the Texas Furniture Makers’ Show at the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center for 19 years.
“To take a dream of my own or a client’s and turn it into a plan, then into the reality of a beautiful piece of heirloom furniture is as good as it gets,” Delyea said.
Delyea makes everything from cabinets and bedroom sets to rocking chairs and tables, a few of which are on display at the 20th annual Texas Furniture Makers’ Show, on display now until Dec. 13.
The show is one of the longest-standing traditions at the KACC, which is why this year the organization will be recognizing participants who have been in the show for longer than 10 years, Zirkel said.
“It brings people from around the state,” Zirkel said. “Once people visit, they want to come back every year to see it because the furniture in it every year is so unique.”
The show features artists from all over Texas, with close to 50 participants and 55 pieces, said Al Zirkel, the program manager for the KACC.
“Each piece here is one of a kind, all handmade and built,” Zirkel said. “These people buy their wood with the intention of how it will look when it’s finished, the coloration and that sort of thing. So there’s quite a few exotic woods. You’ll see mesquite, a lot of woods from Hawaii.”
Delyea added it takes time and hard work to create a meaningful piece of furniture.
“The difference between handcrafted and store bought furniture is about 100 years,” Delyea said. “With proper care, the handcrafted piece will be beautiful and functional for at least a century, (whereas) the store bought piece will most likely be in a landfill.”
Many of the pieces are made of wood, but there are a few that have some wrought iron or metal work, Zirkel said.
“Most of them are functional pieces, useful art,” Zirkel said. “(Artists) have to incorporate the fact that it’s going to fulfill a purpose, which is to be used on a daily basis.”
Much of the work is for sale. There will be a reception on Nov. 9, 5:30 p.m. in the same place as the display, 228 Earl Garrett St. The reception will include an award ceremony, an opportunity to meet some of the artists and recognition of long-time show participants.