The Wood Merchant
For more than 30 years, The Wood Merchant in downtown La Conner has drawn thousands of admirers to its 3,000 square foot woodworking gallery. In the inviting and warm space, visitors are encouraged to appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of the wood in two downstairs showrooms and in a smaller room upstairs.
“We want visitors to be inspired when they walk in,” says Mark Carrier, owner of The Wood Merchant. “Sometimes they don’t even know why they are drawn to a piece, but it often has to do with the unique patterns and textures in the wood.”
Visitors may touch the items on display, feel the grains and character of the different woods, such as maple, burl, and walnut. In return, all they ask is to be aware of sharp jewelry or embellishments on jeans like rhinestones that might scratch or damage the wood.
FROM PATRON TO OWNER
“Before I was the store owner, I shopped here for 20 years,” says Carrier. “It was my favorite store in La Conner.” As a lover of art, Carrier wandered the gallery, appreciating the woodworkers’ skill and craftsmanship. Over the years, he brought home special pieces like a display cabinet with maple and Hawaiian koa and a live-edge dining table set with chairs.
Carrier continues the shop’s tradition of working with more than 200 American woodworkers with a strong emphasis on artists in the Pacific Northwest. Most prices range from a few hundred dollars to thousands for larger pieces. Walnut side tables, mahogany rocking chairs, and dining room tables tend to sell fast. The gallery also includes a selection of smaller and budget-friendly items like hardwood knife blocks ($125), wood wine tops ($18), and wood coasters ($7.95).
WAYS TO PURCHASE
The gallery is a sensory experience, and many items in the store are one-of-a-kind creations best seen in person. For those not able to visit, select items are available for purchase on the website, like gingko design jewelry boxes ($470), Buckeye Burl vases ($225), Chinese checkers ($75), and wooden light switch covers (starting at $14). If you are looking for something in particular, send the store a photo, and they will let you know what they have in stock. And, for custom made pieces, they will put you in touch directly with a woodworker.
709 S. First St., La Conner
360.466.4741 | woodmerchant.com
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