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Linda, a breast cancer survivor, has worked solely in northern Arizona for seven years, primarily creating architectural leaded glass, using clear glass with little bursts of color. “It’s not like in churches,” she says. “It doesn’t overwhelm.”
Linda works primarily in large formats – she’s created a three-story window for a home in Casa Contenta in West Sedona, a 12-foot-square skylight, and an eight-foot round window. She also has her glasswork at El Portal Sedona. She works by herself because she’s a “perfectionist” but does have help when it comes time to install her work. It’s taken some time, but she says she loves the Verde Valley, especially the people.
“It took me three years to get used to this place – I grew up at the beach and I miss it,” she says. “But I was always working for someone else and now I’m living my dream – I work for myself.”
Linda Garrison – Garrison Glass Studio
Ken Skiby: Furniture Designer
As a boy, Ken Skiby would watch his grandfather build intricate, hand-carved furniture he’d present to friends and family as gifts. Using the skills his grandfather taught him, Ken built furniture in his spare time while working in the construction industry until 12 years ago, when he began managing a furniture-building operation – within two years he bought the business and K&M Skiby & Sons Custom Furniture Builders was born. Now, Ken and his eldest son, KJ, 21, build one-of-a-kind pieces in their shop in Prescott Valley, working primarily with interior designers in northern Arizona.
Ken and two other builders he employs create all types of furniture, from kitchen cabinets to beds to dining room tables. Most pieces have a distressed look but Ken says they’ve also crafted contemporary pieces and unique items such as carved wood panels, columns, beams, and doors. Many of the pieces wind up in Spanish-style homes, though Ken has seen his work in French Colonial, Southwest, and English houses.
“We don’t really label our furniture,” says the artisan, who was named one of the Masters of the Southwest 2007 by Phoenix Home & Garden. “We give our clients the style they are looking for.”
Ken and KJ prefer to work with alder wood, but they’ll use any wood the client requests. Ken both stains and paints pieces; all the furniture is made using mortise and tenon construction, to ensure the strongest wood joints possible. “You could drop it and the joint won’t break,” says Ken. “This is heirloom-style furniture we’re making.”
Not only does Ken work with his son, but his wife handles the bookkeeping. “I always dreamed of having a business the family could be part of and proud of. We like to keep it low key and I make sure I’m part of every piece that comes out of the shop. We aren’t trying to make a fortune but we’re happy to be making a living out of it.”
Ken Skiby – K&M Skiby & Sons Custom Furniture Builders