Recently on the Wood Talk podcast, there was a discussion trying to define the term “fine furniture”. I found this discussion extremely frustrating, because at no point did anyone think to ask if we should even care.
Why did anyone ever think to call what they make “fine furniture” in the first place? The answer is marketing, implying that their products were better than the competition, and thus worth paying a premium for. Well, the days of cutthroat competition between fine furniture makers ended many years before I was born. The only real competition the average woodworker has is cheap factory made furniture, like IKEA. The average woodworker only has two modes: “slap something together” and “do your best”. Most anything made in “do your best” mode is going to be more expensive and much higher quality than the IKEA equivalent.
Let’s stop this “fine furniture” nonsense and get back to making cool stuff out of wood. If we ever want to see a new age where high quality hand made furniture is the norm again, then we need to stop being divisive and let our work speak for itself.