I started Concepts Created over six years ago out of a curiosity of working with reclaimed wood. That curiosity has grown into a passion and continues to grow. Each piece I build Is an expression of myself, I truly pour my heart and soul into my work.
I could never be a success without my beautiful wife, Susan, working alongside me. This is truly a family business, as you can often find my children working with me in the shop doing what they can to help, or just keeping me company.
About Bryan Black
I was a teenager before my father let me use a power tool. If a hole had to be drilled, it was a hand auger; if it had to be cut, it was a hand saw. My father taught me the principles of wood working with not much more than a home made wooden tool box full of hand tools. He taught me to rely on my creativity and ingenuity rather than a shop stocked with the latest hi-tech wood working machinery. Today, I have more tools than my father ever had. However, in my furniture I use little to no screws or nails. I use traditional colonial building techniques like draw-bore pins, mortise and tenon joinery, pegs and dowels. I even made my own hammer. I am now passing these skills on to my children as they work alongside me. I pray their memories of these days are as fond and peaceful as mine are of the hours I spent with my father in his shop.
I have been in various buildings trades my whole life and learned many skills, but the most valuable were the years I spent working for a custom cabinet maker in Southern California. There I learned many building techniques and of course, some tricks of the trade. I hadn’t yet worked with reclaimed wood – it wasn’t until I went out on my own as a finish carpenter/cabinet maker did I get that chance. At the end of a particular project there was some reclaimed wood leftover. I took it home and built my first coffee table. What began as a hobby years ago, has now become my full time work and passion.
A Unique History
You might be wondering what the clam shell symbol is all about. I burn this on the top of every piece I build, as my trademark. I noticed this symbol on my family crest and when I looked up its meaning, I found that it symbolizes a long journey. This is interesting because my mother, while researching our family genealogy, discovered that my great grandfather (12 generations) was John Alden, the ship’s carpenter on the Mayflower.
Each piece I build is truly unique. The wood that was once a barn or some other building, has now journeyed through the hands of the grandson of one who journeyed across the atlantic and helped settle this land. The pioneer spirit can be sensed and the heritage can be touched as each table I build sits as the centerpiece of your family, as your conversations and life add to the history of it’s life. May you truly enjoy your table…
Some years ago I wrote an essay about the Pilgrims and the true meaning of Thanksgiving. If you are interested please take some time to read it: