The Ultimate Gift for the Do-It-Yourselfer: Build Your Own Thos. Moser Furniture

If you have a Thos. Moser fan in your life, you can give him or her something extra special this Christmas: a week in Maine, where they will make their own piece of furniture under the guidance of Moser's skilled craftspeople.

Eric Corkhill of Philadelphia (left) participated in the Thos. Moser Customer in Residence program last year as a gift from his wife. Here he works on his furniture with Moser craftsman Bob Fisher. | Photo: Courtesy Thos. Moser

Eric Corkhill of Philadelphia (left) participated in the Thos. Moser Customer in Residence program last year as a gift from his wife. Here he works on his furniture with Moser craftsman Bob Fisher. | Photo: Courtesy Thos. Moser

At the Thos. Moser showroom on Walnut Street, the staff will gladly show you the tools, the raw material and the techniques that go into a chair, table, chest or bed.

But maybe that’s not enough for you. Maybe you’d like to see a Moser chair actually being made.

The usual way to do that with most furniture makers is to take a tour, and Moser offers tours of its workshop in Auburn, Maine.

But maybe that’s still not enough for you. Maybe you’re the kind of person who wants to become immersed in the experience of making a fine handcrafted object.

In which case, you’re in luck, for Moser also offers 35 people each year the opportunity to come up to the workshop for a week and build their own furniture.

“This program is for our collectors,” said Steve Wyman, “dean of students” at the Thos. Moser Customer in Residence Program. “It gives them an opportunity to spend a week in Maine building a piece of furniture one-on-one with one of our cabinetmakers. “They get to look through our designs and pick one they like, and we pair them with a cabinetmaker who’s familiar with the item.

“It can be any item they have their heart set on.”

The cabinetmaker serves as a guide to the customer, who picks the raw material for their furniture from the wood pile and does the actual work using the equipment in the Moser workshop.

“The Customer in Residence program is an experiential gift that often triggers new friendships, both with craftsmen and fellow participants, while providing an opportunity to acquire new appreciation and new skills at any age,” said Susan Davis, Thos. Moser’s chief brand officer.

The program is open to anyone regardless of level of prior experience: “Some come with extensive experience in woodworking, others come with none,” Wyman said. “Regardless of experience, they all make the furniture.

This makes a great and rare gift for the fine furniture lover or amateur craftsperson. One reason it’s rare: Participation is limited to a total of 35 people each year. The program holds seven one-week sessions, one each month, from April through October, and each workshop session has a maximum of five participants. As space is limited, you should check with Wyman right away to inquire about open slots; he can be reached by phone at 800-708-9041 or by email at [email protected]

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