In the heart of Blair, Nebraska, where the buzz of mass production often drowns out the melody of craftsmanship, Bruce Owens, owner of Owens Woodworking, is leading a symphony of his own composition. One that echoes the nuanced richness of jazz.
“Jazz music is much appreciated when produced by a good artist,” Bruce shares, drawing a beautiful parallel between his creations and this intricate musical genre.
Having settled in Blair less than a year ago, Owens Woodworking has already begun to make its mark, backed by Bruce’s four decades of experience in woodworking. The foundation of his business philosophy? Quality over quantity. “Always strive to do a perfect job and you will receive additional customers by word of mouth,” Bruce affirms.
A step into his workshop is like stepping back in time. It is here that Bruce breathes new life into old artifacts using a combination of antique and contemporary tools. “My woodshop is characterized by using antique hand tools and some modern-day tools. I have been doing woodworking for over forty years,” Bruce says.
His dedication to preserving tradition in a modern world is echoed in the layout of his workshop. “I took an 18th-century wardrobe and converted it into a cabinet for my hand tools,” he says, creating a literal embodiment of his philosophy.
Throughout his career, Bruce has put his touch on numerous memorable projects, from restoring 17th and 18th-century pieces to crafting a US flag case for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. He also displays his ability to adapt and innovate in complex projects. Recalling a unique request, he says, “A customer brought in a round oak table and wanted it cut down to size. I routed the top down and cut the existing apron down to match and put it back together,” a testament to his problem-solving ability.
If his work were to be immortalized in a documentary, Bruce hopes the focus would be on his dedication to authenticity. “My passion is repairing and restoring antique furniture by using the hand tools originally used by the creator of the piece and doing the very best job using the original parts such as wood, box nails or screws, and hide glue,” he explains.
As for the future, Bruce is brimming with optimism and ambition. “I have many projects on the dream board and would like to get to many as possible as long as I am able to work in my woodshop,” he shares. His vision includes reaching more communities around Blair and preserving the legacy of craftsmanship.
In a world rushing to the beats of mass production, Bruce Owens is orchestrating a different tune. Amid the strains of jazz and the scent of well-worn wood, he’s crafting a distinctive legacy, one masterpiece at a time, in the heart of Blair, Nebraska. You can contact Bruce Owens for antique wood furniture repairs, chairs repaired, cabinetry, home accessories, by phone at 256-755-3036 or 256-508-1420.