Works of a Craftsman

Forino’s wood creation
have clients talking

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

GOSHEN, Ky. (May 2003) – The right piece of furniture can accentuate the interior of a room, providing the homeowner complete satisfaction. It can also become a treasured family heirloom, passed on from one generation to the next.
Chuck Forino, owner of Forino Furniture, can fulfill both of those requirements for his customers with one stop at Forino’s shop, located at 11936 W. Hwy. 42, Goshen, Ky.

Chuck Forino

Chuck Forino at his shop

Forino crafts styles ranging from contemporary to early American, and anything in between. His ability to convert a 2x4 into a piece of fine furniture stems from years of experience.
Ellen Wilson is one of a dozen interior designers for Ewald and Associates. She has placed several of Forino’s pieces in her clients’ homes.
Wilson said Forino is attentive to the client’s expectations, taking extra time to explain how he will craft a certain piece of furniture and what the finished product will look like. “He takes pride in his work,” she said.
Forino said he will often present seminars to clients and designers to showcase what he has to offer, the materials he uses, and an overall presentation of how he conducts his business.
“Most of the time people know what they want,” he said. Customers can bring in their ideas, which Forino then transforms into concrete designs, bringing an inanimate piece of wood to life.
Forino said that 60 percent of his custom-built furniture business pertains to the conception of new furniture. Customers may want to add a piece to an existing ensemble or match a certain finish. Furniture he has crafted includes sleigh beds, gun cabinets, roll-top desks and wall units.
The other 40 percent of his business stems from antique refurbishing. While he can redo an antique piece from scratch, Forino said it is important to “keep the integrity of the antique.”
After completing a work, he produces a finish for it and delivers it himself. His prices vary, depending upon the type of wood used and degree of difficulty in designing and craftsmanship. Some customers may prefer intricate dovetails or detailed carving or turnings, while others may request a simple design.
He is even open to having customers come into his shop for specialized seminars. If a customer wants to come in to learn more about woodturning, Forino said he is happy to teach them what he knows. He said many homeowners want to do certain projects themselves, and he is able to provide them with hands-on experience.
Wilson said Forino crafted kitchen cabinets and a mantel for one of her clients. His versatility in crafting two totally different pieces of furniture revealed his wide range of artistic talents.
Every handmade piece he creates is different, Forino said. He mixes all of his own finishes, which are not chemically based. Soap and water are all that are required for cleanup.
Also, Fornio was impressed with local artist Josh Bell’s painting. Bell has added decorative touches to children’s furniture that Forino has assembled.
Bell has earned designation as one of Forino’s exclusive artists.
Woodworking comes naturally to Forino, a New Jersey native. “It’s all I’ve ever done. I don’t know anything else.”
Over the past 20 years, he has gained valuable woodworking experience; first from his father, a general contractor, then from his uncle, a kitchen cabinet maker.
He then decided to go into business for himself, and relocated to Oldham County two years ago from Arizona.
Forino said he has learned a lot by working with others. He was taken under the wing of a gentleman of German descent in Phoenix for a time. He said the experience was “very instructional.”

To set an appointment with Forino, call and leave a message at (502) 228-0502.

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