News / Halifax

Handmade Halifax: Furniture designer takes pieces from trash to treasure

Metro's newest feature brings readers into the workshops of local artisans.

Katherine Cherry works in furniture design and upholstery with her company Boss Designs.

Jeff Harper / Metro Order this photo

Katherine Cherry works in furniture design and upholstery with her company Boss Designs.

A chair in the trash is junk for most, but furniture designer and upholstery aficionado Katherine Cherry can see a treasure.

“I have this need to make things, and make them beautiful. I love furniture and I always have loved furniture,” said Cherry recently in her Fall River workshop, surrounded by various pieces in different stages of production.

“Our parents and grandparents...when they bought a sofa it would last longer than their car. You’d have it for the next 30 or 80 years. These days it’s just not that.”

Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs.

Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs.

Furniture design, and especially upholstery, are not easy to learn in these modern times of Walmart end tables.

“It’s extremely difficult to learn as they do not offer it at any of the major educational institutions in the area,” said Cherry. “You have to learn it from someone who is willing to teach it to you. Historically it has been passed down through family.”

Go inside the workshop of Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs.

After apprenticing for more than two years, Cherry decided to strike out on her own this past April and start to do client work under her own brand, Boss Designs.

One of the highlights for Cherry was working on revitalizing an an original loveseat from Finn Juhl, a famous Danish architect and furniture designer, for a client.

Working for yourself can also bring it’s own rewards.

“It’s very fulfilling and rewarding to see your hard work appreciated and know that you’ve done every aspect of that work,” said Cherry.

“I’m doing it for my daughter...to not have to rely on someone else and to be able to rely on yourself, that’s what’s kind of driven me.”

If you have a family heirloom that needs some TLC, you can reach Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs via her website bossfurniture.ca.

Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs.

Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs.

Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Katherine Cherry of Boss Designs.

Handmade Halifax:

Over the next four weeks we’ll give you a slice of people that are moving away from traditional jobs and instead dedicating themselves to their passions. 

What makes someone choose to work with leather in an era when belts can be bought online from half the world away? How do you learn to see a table in a pile of apple wood that you’ve got from a former orchard? What makes someone choose the tactile over the tech?

Have another artisan to suggest? We are looking for reader suggestions for week four of this series. Send your suggestions to jeff.harper@metronews.ca.

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