S.E.Tyler Log Furniture is a log furniture manufacturer and seller based at the home of Steven Tyler, the company’s owner, in Somerset, California. He makes all kinds of log furniture like rocking chairs, staircases, and tables. To learn more about his work and to purchase furniture, visit www.setyler.com.
Q&A WITH STEVEN TYLER:
What kinds of log furniture does your company manufacture and/or sell?
My style of furniture is contemporary rustic. I make art and furniture in one piece.
How much does your log furniture cost?
I have coat racks for $50 to one-of-a-kind California King Log Beds that go for $3,000. I just started building Octagon Log Gazebo kits that will start at $3,500 and will go up to $10,000.
What are the most popular kinds of log furniture that you offer?
The most looked at pieces are the Flower tables and the Spirit Series Rocking Chairs. With the first Flower table I made and had at a show, the women were running over and touching it. When I saw this, I knew I had created something different. With the rocking chairs, everyone likes to sit and rock in them. A lot of people can’t believe how comfortable they are.
Briefly describe how you make a piece of log furniture.
I pick logs out that have some character to them. Bent, scarred, and worm-working all add to the uniqueness of my furniture. For the rocking chairs, I find material that matches each other. It’s amazing how in nature you can find the same bend or shape in many logs. Once I do this, then I put the pieces together. There is art in nature and all I have to do is put them together in furniture to make one-of-a-kind pieces.
What types of wood do you use to make your furniture?
I use native woods from the forests in the Sierra foothills. Cedar is the most used. It’s stable, light, and strong and the most abundant type. Others are Ponderosa blue pine, Manzanita, Black Oak, Douglas Fir, Black Walnut, and even some English Walnut. All the wood I use is considered a waste product or non-merchantable by property owners.
How did you get into this business?
In 2000, my daughter and I moved to a small Redwood log cabin. I only had money to buy food and pay the bills. Having lost everything in a failed marriage, I turned to my carpentry skills to make furniture for our house. I worked as a lumberjack for 15 years, so I know the woods well. All the small trees and dead bug kill were free. Property owners were glad to get rid of it. So I bought some tenoning jigs and started learning how to make furniture. Almost all of the first chairs I made are gone now as they went into a burn pile. They were not comfortable at all. Now I am still learning and still have some errors, but I have created my own style of furniture. Some of the first pieces were from wood that came from my grandparents’ ranch in Grizzly Flat, California. The wood had special meaning to me and I was making furniture my daughter could have after I’m long gone. Hopefully they will have meaning to her too.
What kinds of crazy or oddball requests have you had for furniture?
Recently I had a customer have me make her a life-sized Grizzly Bear silhouette for the side of her house. It turned out so well I made one for my cabin also.
What are your favorite types of items to make?
The rocking chairs and the Flower tables are my favorite pieces. The Flower table is complicated to make and I like it when people see something they have never seen before. The rocking chairs are just something to sit and rest in for a little bit before you get up and carry on with life. The 2011 Spirit Series Rockers are everything I’ve taught myself about rocking chairs and woodworking over the past several years. I like all my furniture and I treat each piece as if they are my children. I love each one of them – even the ones that didn’t turn out so well.