Hayes at Peter dining table

Wood is Good

Brush Factory owner and lead cabinetmaker Hayes Shanesy talks wood, furniture, and why Brush Factory

Words by Hayes Shanesy. Photos by Brooke Shanesy

Why woodworking?

"Woodworking is good for the soul, every woodworker knows this" says Hayes. Brush Factory furniture is primarily made from wood because we're passionate about it.  We love trees in our cities, our parks and of course our forests.Their are few natural living monuments that can compare to the inspiring elegance and beauty of a massive oak.  We choose wood to honor our heritage, the woodworking trade, and because we believe that wood is the most inspiring, natural, uniquely independent material available.  I learned furniture making from my father a master cabinetmaker who continues to pass on his knowledge today as a lead craftsman in our shop.  Wood is a renewable natural resource that is non harmful, biodegradable, long lasting, locally grown, sustainably forested, and won't end up in a landfill like many of the other products that surround us.

"I've been making stuff since I was a kid.  I spent many hours in my Dad's basement shop growing up.  I always enjoyed creative projects and building furniture was a terrific outlet for my interest in design."

 Building furniture is a contemplative process based in fundamental practices of technique, design proportion, precision and care.  There are technical challenges of joinery and engineering but their is a lot of joy in the simplicity too.  Wood is wonderful.  Each tree is unique in its color and grain pattern and different species have completely different properties.  As a completely natural material wood seems to stay alive almost even in a piece of furniture as it expands and contracts with the seasons and almost speaks to you.  

So, what's a Brush Factory?

We started this company back in 2009 in Brighton, one of our favorite Cincinnati neighborhoods, in old brick building that was a brush making business, until we moved our studio and shop in.  The old place had manufactured wooden brushes for over a century and was littered with ancient bristles, blanks and brush models.  We were so enamored with the building and the history of the place that we decided to keep the name alive for our studio and Brush Factory was reborn.  We like history and our city so we're proud to honor what came before.