Rick and Denise Pratt are known as two of America's leading makers of traditional and contemporary twig furnishings. Their family business, around the bend, is located in a renovated hog barn on a 9 acre farm just north of Wooster, Ohio. This couple grew up in the same west-side Cleveland suburb. The Pratts were married in the late 70's and started their family right away. An old twig rocker, previously purchased by Denise and the introduction to John Phillips well known twig builder, provided the inspiration that started Rick building in 1980.
Throughout the years their three children have worked with them to create the diverse character of around the bend. With the use of copper, old tin, barn boards, and paint they have been able to create a very unique type of furniture. Rick is a more traditional, symmetrical guy who likes things natural. With his experience in carpentry and construction, he has been able to create sturdy, practical pieces. Denise has a more contemporary outlook. Her instinct and creativity with a mix of patterns and color has influenced today's ever changing product line. Like Rick, their pieces started out simple and traditional. With Denise and middle son Dakota's influence, around the bend's pieces are transforming with more contemporary, curvaceous loops and dramatic colors. Some of the pieces they have built for years have become "stock items", while others are built to order. Many seating pieces, cabinets and tables are one of a kind or as Rick says "rare of a kind".
Rick enjoys the opportunity to design custom pieces and has gained many ideas from his time spent in the willow patch. Ohio's marsh lands and creek banks have been an ideal area for the cultivation of black willow. Much time is spent each week in the swamp gathering fresh saplings. Every sapling is a little different and must be bent while green. They do not use molds or forms, each and every piece is bent freehand and nailed into place. Raw ends are shellacked and then the entire piece is sprayed with boiled linseed oil to help preserve its beauty. The Pratts look forward to working with you, and thank you for your support!