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For more than thirty years Don Willey has practiced the craft of custom carpentry and fine wood finish work in homes across northwest Oregon. He has created wood paneled walls, coffered ceilings and complex fireplace enclosures with integral mantels. During these years he has gained broad experience working with a wide variety of wood species in a range of woodworking methods.
Recently, he has returned to his shop, and to his roots as a craftsman, to create fine wood products. His knowledge of the origin and characteristics of wood species leads him to create unique and intriguing combinations. The results are functional products with sculptural quality.
Don is pleased to be working with his friend and design partner, Jim Bicak. Now living in Chicago, Jim is a registered architect with over thirty years experience in healthcare, education and residential projects in the Seattle and Chicago areas.
Through this collaboration, Don is creating finely crafted frames for photos, artwork and mirrors.
The design of many of the frames is inspired by the Arts and Crafts Style. The themes of the joinery will be familiar to many, but it is not our intention is to make historical recreations. Instead, our goal is to pursue the influence of the movement as a basis to craft quality wood products. WilBi Designs is also creating unique frame styles with bold inlay patterns that appear to braid like rope resulting in a visually dynamic enclosure that will accentuate mirrors, special pieces of artwork and photographs.
While the process of creating the frame is standard for each frame type, the eye and the hand of the craftsman make each one an original product.
Salvaged Wood: The wood used for these products is salvaged from millwork scrap piles, demolition work, or cleanup projects that would otherwise have sent the material to a landfill or to be burned. Because source is different, Don will evaluate the lot to determine the design and fabrication approach that will best reveal the quality of the wood.
Wood Joinery: The frames are designed with wood joinery only and no metal fasteners or other metal devices are included in the final product. Special notches are provided in the back of the frame for wall mounting.
Inlays and Finishes: All inlay work including assembly of laminated pieces, special cutting and shaping, and installation and fitting is done on-site. The lacquer is also applied at the shop to provide a durable, satin finish.