Who Made Your Chair?


Created by
Anita Hamalainen

Many hands make light work, unless it's a 120" long dining table.

Do you know who made your table? How about your bureau? We don't typically get to meet the people who make our furniture, especially if it comes from overseas. But if you own anything from Copeland Furniture in Bradford, Vermont, let me introduce you to four craftsmen and women who might have had a hand in making your furniture.

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Meet Andrea, a whiz on the glue machine, who has worked at Copeland on and off since the early 2000s.

Andrea is wearing her dance shoes, just in case there's an impromptu dance party. It has happened before.

When not at Copeland, Andrea enjoys expressing herself through poetry and art, including painting, cross stitch, jewelry making, and creating 3D wall sculptures out of beads and wire. Andrea enjoys her job because everyone cares about what they do and takes pride in each piece. Though lifting the large table tops can be a bit much at times, Andrea loves her job because it allows her to create beautiful furniture which she believes are works of art themselves.

Behind the mask, below, is Brian, a sprayer in finishing,

Stand back, everyone, or these table extensions get it.

The busiest time of year for Brian is just before Copeland's massive Annual Tent Sale and everyone works through the weekend in preparation. When not finishing the furniture with water-based lacquers, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife.

One of the newer members of the Copeland team is Christina who operates a CNC (computer numerical control) machine. Basically, Christina tells the computer how to cut or carve each piece of wood. Smart, Christina, make the computer work for you.

"I am now telling the computer exactly what it can do with a lifetime supply of chocolate."  (Name of the movie, anyone?)

Things get very busy for Christina just before the company's big Dining Sale when tables need to fly out of the factory like hot cakes. To decompress from the challenge of computer programming, Christina enjoys hiking with her family.

The furniture at Copeland is a careful balance of precision-manufactured and hand-assembled and finished. But what happens when the manufacturing equipment lets everyone down? Enter Heman.

What is Heman doing to that vice?!

With a name like Heman, you're probably asking if he's Head of Maintenance and super-hero. Everyone agrees he is when things break down. Heman loves working at Copeland because of the people there and because of its close proximity to home, leaving him more time to go hunting and less time commuting. You know, in the grueling Bradford traffic.

These four Copeland employees are part of the 100 or so hardworking people who create heirloom quality furniture in Bradford. Look for the next post highlighting four more craftswomen and men. We met Heman, but does She-Ra work at Copeland?  Who are Jinx and Patches?? Does anyone give out free samples?

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