Happy Coincidence! A chance encounter with the local newspaper delivery man making his route at 5:00 a.m. in Danville, Kentucky has resulted in some totally awesome, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind reclaimed wood furniture.
Phillip Pickthall and his wife, Martha, came to Danville as a semi-retired couple from Georgia, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Always working a paper route for extra income, Phillip had run commercial wood shops and was responsible for the most visible piece of his career, the giant bar, 100 feet long, at Gilley’s in Las Vegas. He has an affinity for old wood.
Inside the city limits of Danville, Pioneer School of Drama, a summer stock theatre known as Pioneer Playhouse, was built 63 years ago. Stored on the grounds were 100-year-old poplar, cedar and oak beams with siding from a recently torn down barn.
That chance meeting between Pioneer Playhouse producer Charlotte Henson and her paper carrier resulted in an empty store front being utilized for a workshop and showroom.
(The name was picked by Holly Henson for the second life of reclaimed wood, and the creation of useful pieces from the real thing).
Real wood is used sparingly in modern pieces. They are mostly made of composite, heavy and not able to hold screws and clamps, and with a wood veneer.
Phillip Pickthall romances the wood, finding the right piece that speaks to him–planing, sanding, hammering and finishing. He and Martha work together. If you’re interested in hearing the history of a piece that catches your eye, they will be more than happy to tell you.
Visitors from out of state are amazed at the reasonable prices compared with high-end catalogs and stores. Prices range from $35 for cheese or bread boards to $850 for the New Holland bench. Items can be shipped.
Phillip Pickthall is also a masterful restorer of furniture. Most pieces are expertly taken apart and glued or fastened according to the age of the piece. Missing bits can be restored, and the furniture comes back as strong or stronger than when it was new. Favorite pieces, some made by family members, can be used again.