Fashioned from the landscape by Adirondack Guides during their cold, winter off-season, rustic furniture, today's Adirondack furniture has come a long way from its crude, utilitarian origins. In 1880, when New York industrialists began to build lavish summer residences known as Great Camps, the rustic furniture began to take on a finer and more sophisticated style, heirloom quality pieces that are easily identifiable in today's interior landscape. Seamlessly blending forest textures and finishes with urban lines and style; as guests who have found themselves instantly at home in the High Peaks Resort lobby, Adirondack rustic is a style that says, "Welcome home. The mountains have been waiting for you."
These days, Adirondack rustic furniture is as big demand as ever and the artisans who specialize in the painstaking process of creating these functional works of art often find themselves with year-long waiting lists for custom pieces and at the top of every collector's list is a piece by L. Post Rustics and the story behind this rustic furniture maker is as remarkable as its handcrafted furnishings.
The "L" in L. Post Rustics
When beginning a distinguished career, most people have some idea of dreams they are going to chase. Married with raised children and a well-known member of his community, Larry Post had already chased dreams and a career. But when a catastrophic skiing accident left him recovering from a traumatic brain injury and gaps in his memory Larry had one goal in mind; to fill in the gaps, to rebuild, to recreate - poetic when one considers just how he - and his family - rebuilt their lives. He began at the carpenters' bench he'd spent his free time at over the previous 20 years. When I asked, he recalled the early days, "I remember standing there, I knew that I'd known how to do this but completely unable to remember how." It took time and countless post-it notes scribbled with instructions, reminders, how-tos, and whats-its but he relearned the skills he'd spent decades cultivating before the accident. When well-known craftsman George Jaques saw his work, pieces Larry had constructed more as therapy than as career pursuit, he encouraged him to take up the trade officially. He did.
Behind Every Good Man
Joann Post has always been an artist. Marriage, children, career - art has been a constant that has followed her through it all. It was 22 years into her career in nursing at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital when Joann decided a change was in order and it was time to join Larry in the workshop full-time as a fine art painter; a decision Larry credits with their unique style. When it comes to making rustic, Larry related, it's easy to get into a rhythm of making the same thing. Adding a painted element offered a newer, fresher vibrancy to the furniture. If it wasn't already evident, this is not a family that is satisfied with the status quo.
Like Father, Like Son
When a traumatic event happens it never happens to just one person, partners, parents, and children all face challenges and adjustments during recovery and while it is not easy for anyone involved, to those of us on the outside looking in, adult children are probably the last to come to mind when we think of those affected. It's every parent's goal to leave their children with a better life than the one they had and to make any struggle invisible to them. In many ways, Ryan Post has been alongside his father the entire journey, helping where he could and learning at every opportunity - a characteristic that exemplifies the Post family. After winning the People's Choice Award at the 22nd-annual Adirondack Museum's Rustic Furniture Fair, the demand for custom handmade furniture by L. Post Rustics exploded and Larry and Joann unexpectedly found themselves in need of a third full-time member of the team and Ryan found himself working for the family shop, with a passion for rustic clocks from grandfather to mantle and a penchant for arranging shed animal horns to be both organic and functional (a feat easier said than done).
Here Comes Baby
With a degree in environmental science, Jillian Post left college with a career in biology on the horizon. Like her parents, her weekends were filled with artistic pursuits. It was when she was working at a botanist with the Indiana National Park Service that her parents posed the idea of joining the family business; she accepted. Equal parts scientist and artist, Jillian's mark can be seen in almost every piece of rustic furniture. Not only does she carve blocks of wood into the intricate pieces that adorn each piece of furniture but from the vein pattern on a maple leaf, the tilt of a fox head, Jillian ensures each piece is scientifically accurate.
At L. Post Rustics, each member of the family brings something unique to the table and each member of the team pushes the others to do something different, bigger, better. The unique talents each member of the team brings to the table makes every piece a one of a kind work of art. This year marks the 30th Annual Adirondack Rustic Furniture Fair at the Adirondack Experience in Blue Mountain Lake. Artists and artisans from all over the country will be representing their craft and will be offering visitors an opportunity to see their work, discuss custom pieces or find the perfect addition to their home. For anyone with a love of fine craftsmanship or interior design, it's a weekend you don't want to miss.