The Davis Gallery at Houghton House’s second show of the year will feature the work of Amy and Brandon Phillips, owners of the Cracker Factory and Miles and May Furniture Works, on Friday, Oct. 8 through Friday, Nov. 12. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Friday, Oct. 8 from 7 – 9 p.m.
Located on the first floor of the Cracker Factory at 35 Lehigh St., in Geneva, Miles and May Furniture Works produces high quality, handcrafted furniture with eco-friendly methods. In 2007, after a fire destroyed their woodshop in Penn Yan, the Phillips purchased the Factory and began slowly rehabilitating the structure. Three years and thousands of sweat equity hours later, a formerly gutted old building has been refashioned into a not just a woodworking shop, but also a large performance/gallery space, the tiny offices of 3Stories non-profit, and a small apartment for themselves. The couple finds inspiration in making a place for arts, industry and community gathering in the Finger Lakes.
At the core of Miles and May Furniture Works are a series of handcrafted pieces of furniture guided by an unfailing respect for the transformative journey a natural resource makes from forest to home. Trees do not leave the traces of their unique histories behind, whether the scars of a storm or human hand. Lead designer Brandon Phillips believes that the best designs are those that reveal a material’s natural state, physical history, and unique properties. Inspired by the idiosyncrasies of wood as felled by loggers, salvaged from torn-down buildings and structures as varied as Soho walk-ups to the Coney Island boardwalk, Brandon has been creating warm yet functional pieces for the home for more than 15 years. A sculptor by training, he seeks to produce furniture that is honest in its craftsmanship and true to a material’s properties in function and form.
At the Houghton House exhibit, viewers can see several finished pieces, the jigs Brandon designs to make the furniture and mock-ups. Also, at the opening reception they will take orders for anyone wishing to purchase a piece.