You might not want to live with Crayola-colored living room furniture, but you just might pine for primary colors in your great outdoors, as furnituremaker Wayne Cordrey found out when he took his hand-painted furniture to the Saturday Market in Hood River, Ore. He sold it all before the market opened. “Not being someone who needs to be hit over the head, I quickly made some more,” he says.
Born into a military family in Portsmouth, Va., Cordrey grew up all over the United States before studying business at the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif. In 1988, Cordrey moved near White Salmon, Wash., where he managed an organic orchard and worked as the executive director of a community development organization.
A self-taught furnituremaker, Cordrey, 50, began building furniture 10 years ago when he built his home. A TV commercial inspired the design of his Gumby-head-shaped and shell-backed Adirondack chairs (below). “I saw a commercial about Jamaica, and someone was relaxing in an Adirondack chair with a round back,” he says. “That caught my imagination.”
Cordrey builds furniture in a 60-by-30-foot woodshop with a view of Mt. Hood. Before assembling the chairs, he paints each piece of wood with exterior housepaint and applies three coats of clear varnish. “I’m lucky to get to do this,” he says. “I like the design process and the fun of putting on the color.” His Adirondack chairs, which come in 12 colors, cost $265 each or $495 for a pair.
Contact Wayne Cordrey at his store, Sticks and Stones (154 E. Jewett Blvd.; 509-493-1239) in White Salmon, Wash. To see his full line of furniture, go to waynecordrey.com.