For the Love of a Good Bench

I’m excited to introduce to you one of our extraordinary suppliers, Ian Lindahl of Custom Lake Furniture from Fennville Michigan.  While Ian and I were recently introduced last year by a mutual friend, what I have come to learn about Ian is his unmatched artistry and craftsmanship that marks his designs. In fact, Ian was invited to be the chief designer of The Good Bench Company’s Signature Bench.  This bench is a brand-new item and one-of-a-kind, unique only to us that no other company offers. Constructed of strikingly beautiful Ipe wood, the lines and design of this Signature bench are reminiscent of watching a gorgeous sunrise or stunning sunset and anything in between.  We couldn’t be more excited about its introduction.

With this backdrop, here’s an inside look at the creative process through the eyes of this blessed craftsman. 

Sue:  How did you get introduced to this industry?

Ian:  I was actually introduced to boat building by my dad at a very young age.  As I got older, I followed in those footsteps and developed the skills needed to build my own boats.  As I developed those skills, I found myself enjoying the woodworking side of it.  And in 1998 we started building patio furniture and have been doing so ever since. And besides patio furniture, I design and build interior furniture as well.

Sue: Where do you get your inspiration?

Ian:  My inspiration comes from the wood itself.  Each piece is different and has its own story.  I try to incorporate this story and corresponding character into every piece I make.

Sue: What parts of your work do you most enjoy?

Ian: The creative aspect of design and developing new pieces is the part of the process that I enjoy the most.  Trying to give each piece its own character while allowing its story to come alive.  

Sue: What parts of your work are you good at?

Ian:  Being able to visualize a piece before it is built is something that I am good at however I’m constantly having to slow myself down and focus on the details to accomplish the vision. 

Sue:  What materials do you use?

Ian:  Coming from a boatbuilding background working with epoxy was second nature so incorporating that into my furniture was an easy transition.  Walnut and cherry are two of my favorite woods but I really enjoy working with all species of wood, including Ipe.

Sue: Why do you choose to use Ipe?

Ian: I use Ipe for my outdoor furniture because of its superior outdoor characteristics.  Not only does it weather the elements it has minimal twisting or buckling which leads to strong, long lasting joinery. Plus, it will weather naturally to a stunning silver-grey color, or its new look can be maintained with an annual treatment of oil.  

Sue:  When you are finished creating, what gives you the most satisfaction?

Ian:  Applying the finish coat to raw wood and watching it come alive is always a rewarding accomplishment along with seeing the reaction of the customer when they first see it.

Ian’s love for his craft speaks for itself.  Why not consider this one-of-a-kind Signature Bench in your home.  You can find it online at The Good Bench Company.