On a Warren County, Ohio country road you will find a family home and business that dates back more than 37 years. Today this house is home not only to David T. Smith and his family, but also to the many skilled designers, cabinetmakers, finishers, potters, and other artisans that the business employs. The village-like atmosphere of the board and batten shops that encircle the 1720s Connecticut-style saltbox home has become known as “The Workshops of David T. Smith.”
In the early 1970s, building on the farm David’s father purchased in 1929, David completed construction of the home where he, his wife Lora, and three small children would reside. Through the late 70s, while working a full-time job, David began restoring and rebuilding antiques for antique dealers, collectors, and museums. He experimented with “aged” painted finishes and developed a line of reproductions to market to the public. By 1980, with local resources for aged lumber and antique parts exhausted, David left his full-time job to devote himself to reproducing American antique furniture reproductions in New England, Shaker, and Pennsylvania German styles. The business began as “David T. Smith – Cabinetmakers and Grainers.”
Turtlecreek Potters, still operating on the grounds today, originated in 1984. In an attempt to fulfill the need for hard-to-find quality accessories for his furniture line, David spent many hours in museums and their archives researching early American redware. He developed an original lead glaze and built an outdoor wood-fired kiln. The result was a very authentic line of redware plates and thrown forms that antique and pottery collectors embraced. After the success of the pottery, and with a desire to expand and enhance the onsite creative American crafts atmosphere, a blacksmith forge and carving shop were added. The business then became “The Workshops of David T. Smith.”
In 1990, Rodale Press published American Country Furniture – Projects From The Workshops of David T. Smith, a chronicle and selection of furniture plans. American Country Furniture sold out in hardback and has been available in paperback form for many years. More recently, our work has been prominently featured in two books by Tim Tanner (Early American Country Homes and Early American Country Interiors) and in national magazines, including Old House Interiors’ Early Homes and A Primitive Place & Country Journal, in which David frequently contributes as a writer. Throughout the years, The Workshops has been honored to be featured in numerous national magazines, books, and publications.
Though the specialty is in traditional means of crafting furniture, modern technology is principal in the design department–a simple sketch or idea can be transformed into detailed elevation drawings and plan views complete with accessories and fully color rendered. Our photo archive is vast–thousands of more photos than the considerable selection already available on our website. This inspiring and informative collection is utilized and made available to our furniture and kitchen clients throughout their design process.
The first kitchen that David completed was in his home that was built in 1971. He still lives in the same house, but he has updated that kitchen–just one of the over 400 handmade kitchens designed, built, and installed all over the USA. In addition to developing kitchens that are super functional, one-of-a-kind designs, The Workshops can help transform the rest of your home with architectural furniture that is complementary to the kitchen, soapstone, accessories, and other design aspects.
David spends the bulk of his time drawing and designing kitchens, and is passionate about the continuum and promotion of all quality American made crafts. Visit the shop to browse the showroom, view a demo in the pottery, or take a quick tour of David’s own Collected Kitchen. David’s wife Lora, daughter Julie, and grandson Cody all share his love for the work and are involved in the everyday running of the business.
Your support is greatly appreciated and we thank you for your interest!