The start of 'something fantastic' - On the brink

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In his Pawtucket shop, you will find a multitude of hand tools; dozens of hand planes, saws, chisels, gouges and the like. Almost all of his machines have been restored following purchase at auction. They include a Northfield 36" band saw, Delta 10" Unisaw, Moak shaper, Northfield 12" jointer, Rockwell 24" planer and two lathes.

Warlick would like to be building more and more of his own furniture. He is considering holding his first one-man show at the Philip Colleck Gallery. It is in the planning stages, and Warlick would have to produce several more spec pieces to pull it off.

"I've got to make a plan and commit to it if that's what I'm going to do. Right now I'm officially undecided. We'd like to be able to expand that part. I've got a lot of ideas. I think there is a bigger market, ultimately."

He also wants to tap into the kind of clientele that used to buy the high-style 18th century furniture; the modern-day equivalents of the French aristocracy, English upper class. Warlick says for some reason they're not much interested in fine furniture but if he could capture a little of their interest, there would be potential there.

"It's the early days for him," observes Burden. "I think you've caught him right at the beginning of something fantastic. And I think I would definitely revisit him in the next five to 10 years and you will see what happened. It's really going to be very interesting to see how he develops his business."

"An interesting thing I did just a few months ago; Gerald Bland and I designed this game table with backgammon, a chessboard top that was based on 18th century furniture," Warlick says. "The top lifts off and flips over. I made four of those; two ebonized and two in pearl, with machined aluminum parts substituting for the bronze that the original had. It was an original design very much under Gerry's direction. The collaboration is great, especially when you are working with someone with good sense.

"These are dealers, if they think they can sell something, they're interested. I've been pursuing that and I want to do more of that because I think ultimately that's where the better opportunity is."