His first woodworking project was a baby changing table upon the occasion of the birth of his first child over thirty years ago. Since then Tom Cissell has created custom furniture pieces satisfying the wide range of tastes of his clients who until recently were exclusively his family and friends. Having honed his furniture design and building skills, he is now interested in taking on commissions for discerning clients wanting affordable handcrafted custom furniture. Tom finds that to achieve the level of quality of fit and finish he seeks, handwork is always required. He feels his client's deserve the durability and time tested credibility of traditional joinery and the affordability attained by a low overhead shop utilizing both hand and power tools to their best advantage.
Not fixated on a single style of furniture, Tom actively works with his client to design a piece that matches both their functional needs and sense of style. He can work to a client’s design, design to a client’s style, or build-to-order pieces he has previously designed and built.
Tom’s process is to work collaboratibvely with a client to refine a concept into a design. He keeps the client involved in every step of the build process by posting pictures (and sometimes videos) of the project on a private area of his website for the clients to monitor and review. After hand selecting the wood for a project he applies finish to some samples and sends it to the client for their approval. He personally works with the crater and shipper to make sure the custom furniture arrives in perfect condition.
Building custom furniture takes time. While it is well worth waiting for, being involved in the process and being able to monitor the build progress makes it exciting and passes the time more quickly.