A slow day of fishing turned into something very rewarding for Greg Adams.
When the fish failed to bite that day in 1983, the Madison County artisan spotted willow growing on the banks and decided to weave a basket like the Indians had done centuries earlier. He liked what he formed, and began showing his willow egg baskets at local art shows.
Then one day at a show in Metamora, the Noblesville resident found an artisan making furniture from willow.
Hooked by the art form, Greg refocused his work on bending willow into functional and attractive chairs, tables, mirrors, stools and trellises that have become his signature work.
“The furniture I produce is exclusively by me, using my own hands and simple tools, from designs that have evolved from 20 years of experience,” he says. “These designs have been refined over time, and their tested engineering renders them both very sturdy and aesthetically pleasing.”
His tools may be simple and his designs may look uncomplicated, but the process of making rustic furniture is demanding and time-consuming.
“The first step is to find and cut the raw material, the willow saplings,” which grow in thickets in wet areas and can be cut year-round, he explains. Greg hand carries the saplings to his workshop, where they are trimmed and sorted.
“The frames are made first from larger pieces and trimmed with selected long straight pieces,” he continues. “Stainless steel and coated ring shank nails that grip the wood and hold the elements in place are used. Nailing from different angles provides even more strength and ensures sturdiness.”
Greg has exhibited his work in more than 500 craft and fine art fairs in the U.S., including winning the Best of Show award at the inaugural Indiana Artisan Marketplace in 2011.
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