Owner of new Silverthorne store, Mountain Reflections, to celebrate grand opening Saturday
Silverthorne woodworker Jeff Ring has been swinging hammers for almost as long as he can remember.
His pieces have been sold at farmers markets, art festivals and inside other people’s stores, but the local woodworker now has enough inventory to fill his own 7,500-square-foot storefront at Summit Place Shopping Center, three doors down from OfficeMax.
Ring opened the Silverthorne store, Mountain Reflections Woodworking, on March 22, and he will celebrate its grand opening from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday with free pizza and soft drinks from Nick-N-Willy’s and free gifts for the first 100 people through the doors, no purchase necessary.
More than anything, the new store stands as a reflection of its owner, a creative personality skilled in a variety of fabrication methods. The woodworker does his own welding and sandblasting, and he uses a laser woodcutter for precision etching and inlays that really make his pieces pop.
Inside the store, Ring’s woodwork includes everything from barstools, benches, freestanding bars and headboards to coat racks, coffee tables, cabinets and the wide array of decorative mirrors hanging on the walls.
Some of his specialty items — like a full-size wooden sword inspired by the reality TV show “Forged in Fire” or Ring’s prototype filet knife made out of an old saw blade with a slick, polished wooden handle — showcase the range of his abilities.
“It’s a variety,” Ring said of the products he can make. “I don’t want to just sit here and say, ‘I’m a furniture-maker,’ because I’m making all sorts of décor. ‘Decorative woodworking’ is a good way to put it, I guess.”
Beyond the furniture and decorative items, Ring’s store features a number of smaller pieces that might make for a good gift, things like cutting boards, coasters, Christmas ornaments and wood necklaces carved with Ring’s laser, along with other novelty items.
If Ring has a signature piece, he said it’s probably his “Fallen” mirror with laser-engraved pieces of slate on the corners and inlaid leaves running down both sides of the piece.
Ring enjoys taking specialty orders, but he was careful to say that custom work typically costs a little more than his standard items. If he has to set up to make just one piece, it requires considerably more labor.
The prices of Ring’s full-sized mirrors hoover around $200. The carved wood necklaces, meanwhile, cost $17. Ring said he tries to keep his prices competitive throughout the year and, because of that, doesn’t really offer any sales.
“I’d rather be busy because of my reputation than because I’m putting things on sale,” he said. “And honestly, if people ever asked me to do a sale, I’d have to raise my prices first and then I’ll put (my work) on sale. Because it’s true, I’m really trying to keep (my prices) right where they need to be. If someone wants it cheaper, I’m not the right person.”
Ring and his wife, Julie, moved to Summit County from Wisconsin in 1996, and Ring does all of the work out of his shop inside his Silverthorne home with some of the skills he picked up from his father, a commercial carpenter.
Ring got an early introduction working with his hands by helping out his dad on some of the jobs, he said. In high school, Ring’s art teachers took a shine to young talent and further helped develop his abilities.
Taking jobs at glass shops and in maintenance, Ring continued to hone his crafting prowess, as he said he tried hard to learn what he could from other trades and picking everyone’s brain.
The pieces Ring makes are constructed with solid native and exotic woods for the visible components and include some engineered woods for specific parts, due to their strength, stability and cost. He does not use any stains or dyes, only natural colors of the wood, unless the piece is painted a solid color.
Ring takes pride in being Summit County local — locally sourced, locally made and locally sold — but he’d rather people buy his work because they like it rather than focusing on where it’s been made.
For more about Ring’s store, visit MountainReflectionsWoodworking.com.
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