Creative License is an homage to those individuals in the community whose work and occupation are decidedly creative and artisitic without some of them seeing it as such. From fine woodworkers, to choreographers, to songwriters - there's a distinct curiousity in these people that drives them to constantly create, dedicating their energy each and every day to making something new and making those things that already exist - better.
Where did you grow up and how long have you been here?
I was born and raised on the Cape. After college I moved to the island for "just the summer" to help a friend build his first house. I wound up staying. Its been ten and a half years and I cant believe it.
What drove your interest and enthusiasm for woodworking and furniture making?
My interest in building and woodworking probably began when I was about 6 or 7 watching my dad help his friend build his house. I remember watching him support a ridge beam with his head while his friend fastened it in. He was 6' 7" so a ladder wasn't necessary. He was a CFO but i think woodworking was in his blood to begin with. I have a antique cradle that my great grandfather built my dad and his siblings, my brother and sisters and both my sons were rocked in it at some point. It's beautiful and some day it will be passed on to my boys.
What do you do currently/where do you work?
Starting in January of last year I started working for Jerry Allen of Yacht Carpentry Plus in West Tisbury. He owns a wood shop off of West Tisbury Rd. It's amazing. It's surrounding by horse farms. After getting my contractor's license and going that route for a while I became a little frustrated (most likely due to the state of the economy) I eventually got an offer to apprentice in a woodhshop, which has always been a dream. Under Jerry's instruction I've learned the fine finish aspects of woodworking. We've built cabinets, libraries, fancy cedar gates, have worked on boats, furniture, outdoor kitchens, etc. The more challenging the project the better. I've learned so much.
We hear you spent this summer filming a landscape design show for HGTV - can you share some details like what was the show called? Did you have a creative input on the landscape design?
This past summer I had the opportunity to be the lead carpenter on my best friend's backyard renovation show on HGTV. My best friend Chris Lambton, a runner up contestant on ABC's The Bachelorette, had been given his own landscaping show. The show is called Going Yard. For season one I worked on the first episode (the pilot) and the last. A special episode dedicated to getting his house and yard ready for a wedding celebration for the folks on the cape who were unable to make it to his wedding in South Carolina in may. For season two, which was filmed for ten of the thirteen episodes on the cape, I was the lead carpenter for anything wood related. We built decks, pergolas, swing sets, huts, remodeled sheds, built tables and trellis's, outdoor showers and more.
As the General Contractor I was charged with determining the materials needed for the design that was presented to me each week. I would give my input to Chris regarding his designs he would give me and let him know what was possible under the time limits we had (each episode was shot in four days) and the budgetary restrictions that were given to us. The greatest part of the show was the fact that we got to build something new and different every week. Also seeing my design input being utilized throughout the projects gave me a sense of accomplishment that is tougher to see in a 6 month build project. We will find out if the show gets picked up for a season three probably sometime in may but as for now season two will most likely air sometime in april.
Have you always fancied yourself 'creative'?
As far as being creative design-wise ......not really, at least I've never thought of myself as creative. I was a writer for a while in high school and college so that was the extent of my creativity. When I went to work for Jerry in the shop I discovered the freedom of designing a piece of furniture. I started using recycled wood shipping pallets to build pieces. I would have a rough idea in my head before I would begin but I would basically let the wood let me know what it wanted to be. I know that sounds a little esoteric but I'll take apart the pallets, run the boards trough a planer and then I'll be able to see what kind of wood I have.
Shipping pallets are most often from a bunch of different types of scrap wood that weather beyond being identifiable until planed. So, as I build each piece the grain of the wood I have lets me know where it wants to go. I've discovered that I'm not afraid to fail on a piece so I've been able to try new things like inlaying tin panels or building a tapered cabinet (one that resembles a "V"). The challenge is getting it to work aesthetically as well as functional but also not to be traditional and boring.
what are your goals for your furniture business?
Eventually I'd love to just be in the shop all the time, build something new every few days and have people come by and buy the pieces. Not quite unlike an artist with a gallery. I would certainly do custom pieces that need to fit into certain spaces or where a customer has a strong idea of what they want something to look like.
Does it have a name? the business itself?
The shop is on Blackthorn Rd. I love the word blackthorn. It has this old world feel to it. Blackthorn Furniture Company. The shop has a forge and I'd love to learn how to use it to fabricate the hardware for the pieces I make.
The reclaimed nature of the pieces is very attractive on many levels - what was the original impulse for you to create these pieces?
I also love using reclaimed wood. While trying to save money on materials I started taking apart the pallets. It just happened to turn out that the wood from pallets looks amazing once it's all cleaned up. There's a lot of oak and mahogany in them that have an beautiful patina weathered or planed and when you add nail holes and stain from rust and iron the wood is incredible.
I've also been able to save a bunch of lumber from the show from where we took some walls off this antique post and beam shed. I have a bunch of wide plank pine that I'm dying to make into a farmhouse table. I also have these giant old laminated beams that were taken from the old Kennedy Skating rink in Hyannis when it was taken down that will eventually make a stunning dining room table. Old wood has such a story to tell. I like to think using old reclaimed wood extends the life story of the wood.
Humble to a fault, Loughman is quick to redirect compliments and accolades but that hasn't stopped people from noticing his talented and quiet curiousity. An acquaintance, more like a passerby, saw a piece and was really taken by the process and the materials and he wrote this a few months back. Michael Hunter, one of the island's most talented retail and art buyers has noticed and currently Loughman's pieces are for sale at Pik Nik in Oak Bluffs. Custom pieces also available to work with any client's particluar interests, needs, and style preferences. With the holidays right around the corner....A Blackthorn treasure might just be the perfect gift.