Hidden Quarry Artisans ~ Boats and Sideboards

Sideboard in figured cherry by Timm Schleiff, oil painting by Giselle Gautreau

Details on the painting, and that story, here:
“Conflagration” by Giselle Gautreau

 

Terri and I first met Timm Schleiff back in 2009. He rolled in late one night to the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival in St. Michaels, after driving all day from West Virginia. He was starting a new trade as a custom boatbuilder, and was pulling the first boat he set his hand to: a Herreshoff Coquina. Terri pointed him to the campsites – he must have just slept in his van that night – and told me later about the nice young man she had met. The next day we found him on the docks by his boat.

 

Timmo’s Coquina in 2009

 

If you don’t know anything about building boats, I am here to tell you that no one I know, save Timm, would attempt a Coquina for a first try. Herreshoff was a lifelong designer of elegant yachts, and this was the daysailer he designed for himself at the height of his career.  A graceful boat with fine lines and a fast sailer, but challenging construction for even experienced builders. And Timm’s boat was a real beauty, complete with bronze fittings, hand made cleats and leathered oars.

 

 

 

 

We took a sail with Timm on the last day, helped him shuttle to the ramp and load up. Exchanged information, and have kept in touch over the years.

 

Timm in his Coquina in 2009

 

 

 

Turns out the business of boat building is even more challenging than the building, especially in the mountains of West Virginia. Boats are complicated, take a long time to complete, and boat owners are notoriously persnickety clients. Timm decided to broaden his horizons, and spent two years honing his craft at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, one of the premier craft schools in the country.

A few years later, he bought an old quarry in Lewisburg, WV, built himself a shop and a sawmill, and opened business as Hidden Quarry Artisans, where he has been doing very well. Now he and his wife Maria, also an artist, are building their own house. And raise over 80 hives of bees with a honey business in addition to everything else they do.

Timm’s Instagram has many photos of past work.

 

Main Shop at the quarry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Terri and I began replacing what we lost in the fire, we made a concerted effort to collect things made by friends and family if possible. Even when it means having fewer things. We already have paintings by friends Giselle Gautreau, Curt Bowman, Eleanor Hughes, and Randy Smith. Tools from Dennis Keener, a handmade bookcase and books from all my buddies in the extended TSCA sailing group. This list goes on.

So I contacted Timm about making a piece of furniture for us, and sent a couple of photos of things we like. A few weeks later we got a simple sketch back and a proposal.

 

 

Timm sent some progress photos now and then, and a couple of weeks ago the sideboard was ready for finish.

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, Terri and I drove to Lewisburg to pick it up. I think the photos speak for themselves, but needless to say, we’re delighted. Timm’s craftmanship is amazing. The wood is figured cherry from trees cut in Pennsylvania.

 

Finished piece in the shop

 

 

Timm in the shop in 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paintings by Giselle Gautreau on the left, Curt Bowman on the right.  Handmade clock and ceiling fixture. Table and chairs from Terri’s grandmother. Secondhand store lamp and weathervane angel.

 

 

6 Replies to “Hidden Quarry Artisans ~ Boats and Sideboards”

  1. Thanks for this ! We were blessed to have Timmo at our shop for a time , and also blessed to attend his and Maria’s wedding. These two are not only an. extremely talented and capable pair, but are just sweet people!
    ( I knew of the boat but had never seen photos. This was great! Thanks again!)

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