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I guess this story all started when I was a child.  I would often times find myself more content making things and coming up with ideas than staying inside. Soon I found myself mastering the art of woodcraft and exploring my creative side. Anyone can build something if they put their mind to it, but what I do is create upcycled, functional artwork.  My goal is to create pieces that are not only visually appealing, but also ones that add to the joy of everyday life.

One day I was sitting around trying to come up with my next project when I came across a 1928 Ford Model A flat bed sitting in a field, for sale.  The truck needed a lot of work, but it was captivating in its own light.  It was about an hour away from me, down in Arizona wine country, where a long time friend happens to own and operate Carlson Creek vineyard. Within minutes I visualized the Model A loaded down with wine barrels, being driven by some bootlegger eighty-something years ago.  From there I imagined what I could do with the individual staves of the barrel, highlighting all the beautiful character the oak has taken on over the years of its life.  The next day I was headed back to Tucson hauling an 86 year old truck loaded down with old wine barrels, which was then proudly displayed in my front yard. To the naked eye, and my neighbors,  it looked as if I just inherited a junkyard, but once I broke down one of the freshly emptied red wine barrels I saw the beautifully stained staves and could smell the rich aroma of the mind started racing with ideas. From there Bootleg Barrelcraft was born.


Since then I have done some experimenting with different hand rubbed finishes to find the perfect mix between protection and beauty.  We use various finishing products such as local beeswax, Teak Oil, and Brazilian Rosewood Oil, all of which accentuate the natural beauty of the oak staves and offer a high level of protection.


Every day is a new challenge and in the beginning I usually would have to make something at least twice to get it right, but when it leaves my shop it will be imperfectly perfect.  Due to the nature of working with barrel staves, no two products will be identical and each one will have its own unique character.  We will work hard to make sure you are completely satisfied, so when you invest in one of our pieces you will know that you are not just purchasing a product, but you are investing in a piece of art. Our pieces not only look beautiful, but they are helping the environment, allowing the great white oak to live on.


Shawn Simmons



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