Tryon craftsman creates furniture

Published 3:12 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018

TRYON – When Brant Davis started making antler chandeliers in Wyoming in 1991, he never guessed he would wind up in Tryon making furniture for people all over the country. Davis just recently moved Saluda Rustics from Saluda to the old brick mill building on highway 176 in Tryon.

Though Davis opened Saluda Rustics two years ago in Saluda, he’s been making custom design handcrafted rustic style furniture for more than 25 years. He lives in Saluda and had a small retail shop there, but needed a workshop space.

Davis’ unique handcrafted style uses many reclaimed woods and old barn wood. He also uses unique pieces he finds at small, independent sawmills all over the country.

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Combined with beautiful leatherwork done by Mark Walters, the results are cabinet tops in hickory or cherry, chairs made from hickory and upholstered in cowhide or fabric, large wood slab tables and book match tables.

Rather than making each piece alike, Davis allows the wood to shape the design. He skillfully blends the whorls and knots of the wood and leaves the bark intact along the edges. The results are individual pieces that still contain the wood’s life and story blended through the dark and light colors burnished to a high gleam. Shop visitors can’t help but run their hands lovingly across the smooth, glossy surfaces.

“This guy is about as good as you can get in the industry,” said Saluda resident, author and woodworker, Ken Webb.  “He has clients all over the country including celebrities such as Ralf Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.”

Davis gets all his materials from American owned sources. “I’m an American craftsman,” he said. “So I try to stick with domestic sources.”

In addition to the custom made furniture, Davis does sell a few other complementary items such as chamois and rawhide lampshades, candles and candleholders and of course the antler chandeliers he still makes. The shop is filled with worktables, larges pieces of beautifully worked and kiln dried wood rubbed to a fine luster, and boards of old barn wood stacked against the walls.

In the front of the shop, Davis is creating a comfortable area in which to display some of his work, or where a client can come by, look through a portfolio and talk with him about custom designing everything from a piece of furniture to the woodwork throughout an entire house.

Davis has not only created beautiful furniture for celebrity houses, he has designed woodwork and furniture for high-end hotels, restaurants and the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies. “I did a lot of work for the camps in the Adirondacks,” he added.

“The thing about Brant is, he can create designs for the 20 million dollar house, but he can also design the moderately price single piece as well,” said Webb. “Every piece is like a work of art.”

Since Davis moved into the large space that used to house a coffee shop, and before that, the Tryon Little Theater, lots of folks have just stopped in to see who was the new neighbor. “I get folks stopping by everyday,” he said added that people can also call for an appointment. “We can sit down, look through the portfolio, pick out the perfect piece of wood and create a design for them.”

During winter months, Saluda Rustics is open mostly on weekends. In the spring, Davis said he will include weekday hours as well. Those interested in finding out more about the custom designs can visit or call 877-404-6622.