Handmade in WV by fine woodworker Jeffery Hoffa of Renick, W.V.
Composite Interview with Jeff Hoffa
What are your influences?
1 – James Krenov
2 – Shakers
3 – Anyone who hits a note. (May not be Famous)
4 – The piece of wood at hand.
How would you characterize your style?
Simple, contemporary and elegant. And I let the wood dictate the end result. I like subtle curves, and I enjoy taking formal designs and relaxing them with a sensitivity to the material.
I notice that even your most “production-like” pieces are interesting, passage doors for example.
Grain selection is paramount to a successful piece. In addition is matching for color. Wood of the same species can swing widely in its color range. Productions shops overcome this tonal variation by staining or dyeing the material. I have found the most satisfying way to deal with tonal variation is to build a piece using wood from the same tree.
Is this why your work stands out?
If you simply color wood to make it match, you conceal the character of the wood so that it becomes homogenous. Sequential planks from a single tree tend to be similar in both color and grain pattern. You can let the character show and still have uniformity.
How do you get this wood?
I like dealing with small custom sawyers, like my brother, Bob, who will keep the material together as it came out of the tree. In a big lumber yard, a stack of Cherry for example, may have come from 50 different trees.
I moved to the mountains of West Virginia to be close to sustainable forests yielding high quality hardwoods, (and for the slower pace of life).
Some of your custom work is quite decorative.
I try for a plain figured frame with a dancing panel, or bookmatching to ensure harmony. A crotch or other figured section of wood is a prime candidate for bookmatching into a festive focal point. Many small pieces are based on this alone. Jeff Hoffa