Who is Long Grain Furniture?
About as much like a typical furniture company as your grandma is like a chain restaurant
Who is LGF?
I am Todd McCollister, and Long Grain Furniture is my expression as an artist. Armed with a Masters Degree in Sculpture and plenty of informal training in the craft of woodworking, my primary aim is to build heirloom-quality furniture with an innovative aesthetic for our time.
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How does it work?
There are three ways: 1) I can design and build something specifically for you and your space. I’ll come to your place, speak to you about possibilities, look around to see what you like, and I’ll go draw something just for you. 2) I can bring your idea to life. If it’s a fully resolved shop drawing, great. If it’s just a kernel of an idea, I’ll work with you to flesh it out. 3) There are finished works in my studio that you can buy outright. Mostly one-of-a-kind or very small editions, these come straight from my head without limitations. They tend to be where the most experimentation and innovation happens. Contact me for a visit.
What does it cost?
Prices are as widely variable as the designs and materials available. However, it’s fair to say custom furniture is going to cost more than mass-produced things from most stores in Omaha. I can’t compete with Ikea or Nebraska Furniture Mart, but then again they can’t compete with me. My prices are often on par with a store like Restoration Hardware, and you’ll get better quality and the satisfaction of knowing where it came from. Plus, it will be all yours in a way that things rarely are. When I work out a design proposal for you, it will have a price on it.
If you’re lucky, you have memories of many meals around a particular dining table, or many a drink mixed at a friend’s bar cabinet. There may be warmth, joy, compassion, love, anger, and confusion in those memories. There may be celebration, mourning, community, and inspiration. Furniture can be the vessel for those memories and a physical image that appears throughout the story. One of the highest goals I have as a furniture maker is to make the heirlooms that will be passed down, along with the memories they contain.
I have spent many years learning the skills and techniques at the foundation of the craft. Higher than that goal though, is to design furniture that your people will want. The best made heirloom is no good if it’s ugly. The objects in the images throughout the story ought to be beautiful, sensual, and tactile. They should evoke the time in which they began. They might even contribute subtly to the story’s rhetoric. Thoughtfully designed, carefully made furniture ignites the conversations that surround it. Like all good design, it embraces some ideas and challenges others. It does not stand back, nodding in support of every tradition fed mindlessly into the design mill of the mass market.
I began my post-academic life with an MFA in Sculpture and a new home in New York City. I was immersed in contemporary art, working in galleries, working in my own studio, swimming and drinking in the soup of ideas. When I deliberately shifted my practice from Sculpture to Furniture, it was not to abandon ideas. I do my best to produce furniture objects imbued with content, while remaining functional and true. That content might be formal, exploring relationships of mass/line/volume/color/value/texture in innovative ways. It might be historical and contextual, such as bringing elements of another time and place into a contemporary design in order to evoke a certain kind of feeling. It might even be somewhat subversive, as in my parsons dining table that has legs pushed 5° toward the center, a trick that plays with the perspective of the room and conveys a sense of uneasiness not everyone will identify.
My work is designing and building fine furniture from a practice that looks a lot like the practice of a contemporary artist. Briefly, I’m making furniture for people who like art. It’s meant to last, meant to collect and carry memories from today forward.