Kentucky hardwoods are used for all chair parts which are shaved with drawknives and spokeshave on a shaving horse, then steamed to shape before assembly. A prized heirloom for your great grandchildren to enjoy.
Kentucky native Mike Angel had been interested in woodworking for years but only took it up earnestly after retiring from a fascinating career.
After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in the early 1960s, Mike worked as a trooper with the Kentucky State Police out of Pikeville, Kentucky. In 1970, he became a special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the U.S. Treasury Department and, during his career, was stationed in a variety of cities throughout the United States.
In 1987 Mike seriously injured his leg during a drug raid and he returned to Kentucky to recuperate at his parents' home. During this time, he refinished some hickory-bottom chairs that his grandfather had made years before. This project inspired Mike to study old-fashioned Appalachian designs, and experiment with woodworking techniques that led to making hickory-bottom chairs from scratch.
After Mike retired in 1994, he and his wife settled in Laurel County, Kentucky. Mike decided it was time to "get serious" about his chair-making. He created his own line of traditional "mule-ear" chairs, so-called because of the way the back posts of the chairs stick up, like ears on a mule.
There is a beutiy in wood that can only be found when someone like Mike Angel knows how to make that beauty show through in finely hand crafted funiture. Mike's reputation for well-built, comfortable, handsome funiture has found its way across the country and Canada, often by word of mouth, articles in publications and displays at various craft shows. Mike is a member of four juried guilds, including the Kentucky Guild of Craftmen and Artist. His furniture is owned by many corporations, institutions and several well-known people, including the former U.S. President, George H. W. Bush.
What was originally a leisurely pursuit has developed into a thriving business. Mike's furniture is in such demand that he has drawn in not only members of his own family but those from the community, such as craftspeople, chair-weavers, wood carvers, sawyers, and loggers, to apply their skills to the various stages of business and furniture construction.