Full Circle Furniture

Article Published: Dec. 12, 2013 | Modified: Dec. 12, 2013
Full Circle Furniture

From left, Ariana Siporin and Sloan Williamson tell the story of how a piece of reclaimed wood is given new life as custom-made furniture. The couple currently has a booth at Antiques on Howard Street in Boone.

Photo by Jesse Campbell

A dilapidated barn or house on a quiet country road might look like a heap of garbage and trouble to a landowner hoping to spruce up a tract of land.

But to Sloan Williamson and Ariana Siporin, an enormous metamorphosis is waiting to occur in that mélange of debris and aged wood.

“I come from a family of collectors,” Siporin said. “My grandpa was a collector, and he would drive around all day, looking to save old things from being thrown away.”

That attribute seems to have been passed down to Siporin.

With the help of her significant other and business partner, Williamson, the relic hunters have made a full-time job of creating original furniture pieces from reclaimed wood. They are currently in the process or relocating their studio, Full Circle Designs, from a small town just north of Asheville to Watauga County.

The small but ambitious shop specializes in taking creaky fence posts, rusty tractor pieces and brittle pieces of tin and giving the discarded relics a second life as custom-made benches, book cases and coffee tables — depending on what the pieces lend themselves to, as well as the customer’s desires.
Williamson is a seasoned carpenter who enjoys building furniture as a hobby and understands the dynamics of putting pieces of wood together to make a room-accentuating piece of furniture.

Siporin’s path to restoring furniture is as interesting and meandering as the smooth grooves worn into a piece of reclaimed wormy chestnut.

“I had just graduated from Appalachian with degrees in creative writing and psychology, so I was sort of in that post-grad limbo,” Siporin said.

With the help of Williamson’s mother in Alamance County, the couple began a loose apprenticeship of learning about antique furniture before recently venturing out on their own.

The move to restorative pieces was a bit more natural for Williamson, as he had previously worked tearing down old barns in Watauga County. One day, the idea hit him that he could combine his multitude of talents for an uncommon art.

“We just sort of put all of this together,” Williamson said.

Recycling the aged items was also a chance to help the environment in a consumer-based society.
“I look at it as an outlet to give things new life,” Siporin said. “Our ultimate goal is to prevent these things from ending up in a landfill.”

Their customers’ reactions are also part of the appeal.

“We sold one woman a bench that she now uses as a coffee table,” she said. “It gives us inspiration to create new, versatile things.”

On what he enjoys most about the new venture, Williamson said he has “always been a fan of older things” because “they have a story to tell.”

Always looking to partner with others in creating new pieces of furniture, Siporin and Williamson encourage any and all inquiries. For more information, call (828) 206-0881 or (828) 206-0871.

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