When I look at this elegant Santa Barbara dining table, I’m torn in two opposite directions. Its warmly elegant styling and namesake make me want to visit southern California. Its southeast origins make me want to visit the Tritter Feefer workshop in LaGrange, Georgia where it was handcrafted. Perhaps this table is a way to have the best of both east and west coast worlds in own home. If I were shopping for a dining table, this one would certainly be on my short list.
The Gables Antiques in Atlanta designed the Santa Barbara table for Tritter Feefer. It was inspired by an antique European gathering table the company once sold. The legs and stretchers of the Santa Barbara table are unusual, telling the story of a craftsman who built the original out of whatever materials were available. Function superseded form, yielding a captivatingly unique result.
Local People, Local Resources
Tritter Feefer – named for the nicknames of the owner’s grandchildren–is also unique. The company got its start a few years ago, just before the economy started to tank. But thanks to dedicated employees, loyal customers, innovative products, and a commitment to renewable manufacturing, it has enjoyed consistent growth despite the odds. That’s good news for the hard hit little mill town of LaGrange, since the manufacturer now employees 40 people.
“We have retrained trim carpenters and house framers who now bend wood and craft furniture with the own hands,” said Bill Aultman, co-owner with his wife, M.L. Littlefield, whom he credits for creating the company’s fresh, transitional furnishings.
Tritter Feefer sources all its wood materials locally from Georgia, and the company works with a small, family-owned hardware store to source the water-based paints and finishing supplies.
“We think it’s important to buy raw products in our own backyard rather than having them hauled across the country,” added Bill.
It’s been worth the effort. The 38 layered finishes developed by the company are unlike anything this writer has ever seen. I had the opportunity to see and run my hand over a number of the finishes when I visited the Tritter Feefer booth at last spring’s High Point furniture market. The furniture and the finishes are a testimony to what can be achieved by working with local materials and labor.
It’s seems all that Tritter Feefer has sacrificed for localism is being ordinary.