The secrets to successful wordworking Part 1: our favorite woods

After nearly a quarter of a century of working with wood, Martin has certainly developed a few preferences in wood types.  In most instances, he prefers to work with solid wood instead of veneers and most often chooses walnut and cherry.
  • Walnut:  Martin loves to work with solid walnut, the American cultivated variety that is hard and strong and  has a lovely range of tones and pretty grain as seen in our Morphic Sofa design.

    Morphic sofa designed for Pollack and crafted of mahogany by Martin Pierce

     In the past we used Honduran mahogany but, while it is a beautiful wood to carve and has lovely rich red tones, it is endangered.  For this reason we feel that, if used it should only be used in veneer form where one tree will provide sufficient material for hundreds of furniture pieces.

  • Cherry:  Cherry is a fruit wood and if you look at fine European antiques, many of them are often crafted in fruit woods.  It is a strong, hard wood, making it perfect for carving as well as for furniture.  Cherry will darken over time due to even the smallest amount of UV exposure so care needs to be taken to protect furniture from the light through the use of tinted windows, lined window treatments etc.  It's strength insures that it is not likely to fall apart even when enjoyed by someone of generous proportions. On this note, I once had a chair made of pine that I brought over from England that split under the weight of a very large dinner guest. Thankfully he had a great sense of humor.   Our Ascot lounge chair is crafted from beautiful and sturdy cherry wood.
  • Upholstered Ascot lounge chair crafted of cherry wood by Martin Pierce Custom hardware

  • Martins other favorite solid woods include English Yew, English Brown Oak, Brazilian Rosewood and Lignum Vita. The last 2 are very rare and England Lignum Vita was actually sold by weight.

Many of our custom furniture pieces are crafted with a combination of solid woods and veneers.  In part 2 of this woodworking series we will discuss our favorite veneers along with the process of selecting the right wood to create the perfect veneer.

To view any of our custom furniture pieces or our entire collection of bespoke architectural hardware, please visit our site at