My name is... Daryl Nickel

Furniture maker, singer/songwriter

Posted 7/18/16

Wood: an interesting medium

I make custom furniture, built to order. I’ve made everything from a single chair to a full dining room set, and a small donation box to a large armoire.

I love working with wood because it’s an interesting …

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My name is... Daryl Nickel

Furniture maker, singer/songwriter

Posted

Wood: an interesting medium

I make custom furniture, built to order. I’ve made everything from a single chair to a full dining room set, and a small donation box to a large armoire.

I love working with wood because it’s an interesting medium. It’s alive — it’s got character. What I do is draw that character and design out of the wood to create something that’s beautiful, as well as functional.

In 1971, I earned a degree in industrial arts, and I have been building furniture — either part-time or full-time — since. But my grandfather and father were carpenters and farmers, so I learned my skill very young. It’s in my blood.

I’ve been in Golden, this time, for four years. I lived here in the 1970s, but left and went to the Midwest for roughly 10 years. Then I came back in the 1990s, then left again and came back in 2012.

I live in Arvada, but I spend almost all of my time in Golden. My shop and showroom is at 809 Cheyenne St.

A lot of my customers are local to Golden, but also the metro area and the region. Custom-built furniture is a narrow market — you’ve got to be able to draw from a fairly wide area.

Singing and songwriting

When I’m not making furniture, I’m writing music and singing. I’ve been playing the guitar for 40 years. I play mostly original folk music, and some blues and bluegrass. I’ve got some 60 songs I’ve written.

I have performed at the Windy Saddle and other local coffee shops. As part of Buffalo Bill Days, I’m playing at the railroad museum for the Golden Chamber Commerce’s Membership Luncheon on July 28.

Something that will last for generations

I am one of the few traditional chair-makers still around. Chair-making is difficult to do well. Most woodworkers don’t have the patience to make high-quality chairs. It takes time — most of what I sell is time. A high-quality and well-made piece that will last for generations is important to me.

I have a website, and people either call or send an email. Then we have a discussion on what they want, and I’ll come up with an initial design and ballpark pricing. And if it appeals to them, we’ll go further with the details and work out an agreement.

People walk in with a variety of ideas of what they want. Some are very specific and others are very general and uncertain of the details. I enjoy the interaction with my customers. Getting to know them helps me create a piece that they’ll love.

I custom build because I enjoy the creative side of what I do. I like the design aspect and the challenge of making something I’ve never made before. Each piece I make is unique, and customers get a signed original.

Another reason I do what I do is for sustainability. So I also do a lot of repair and restoration. It’s a sustainable way to keep older furniture in use. And, it helps keep family heirlooms and furniture in the family. High-quality furniture is a responsible use of a resource. It’s intended to stay around and not be thrown away.

My name is, Daryl Nickel, Golden, Christy Steadman

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