An incredible gift/furniture shop for the Spokane Valley and a super hero’s mancave

Posted: December 8, 2011 in Opening Business in Spokane Valley
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One day last summer our youngest daughter came home and started going on and on about some cool  garage sale she ran across down at 35th and Pierce and was so excited about it she took Elaine down to check it out. Turns out it was far more than a garage sale though there were amazing things being sold out of these people’s garage.Being against all shopping establishments from garages to malls to Ebay and beyond, it wasn’t until last weekend that Elaine finally succeeded to drag me down there.

What I found was a magical spot in the Valley that neither Jacque’s gushing nor Elaine’s many purchases prepared me for. The place had it all for me: a humble carpenter/craftsman/ artist, John Dunning, who works with his wife , Jen, running a little store out of their shop (it was not a garage though how does a teenage girl know the difference?). It is where he labors during time stolen after hours away from his day job. It was full of original pieces of handcrafted art and furniture as well as below-reasonably priced reconditioned used pieces. And then there was the JohnCave that would make both Batman and the Iron Man, as well as every mortal man like myself, as green as the Green Lantern with envy.

At this out-of-the-way little shop at 35th and Pierce, John takes those gifts God gave him, elevating and combining them to produce my favorite kind of art, “carpentry art” (which is a lot better than carpentry ants). By that I mean art that only an artist with carpentry skills can create. Being a carpenter myself, it is art I appreciate because  it requires skill it took years for me to acquire at a more modest  level and also a creativity and artistry I will  never attain.  A guy like me is lucky just to be able to appreciate his art.

This is what I am talking about. One of John's favorite mediums is wine barrel parts and pieces which he says are readily available from the local wineries. What he does with spent wine barrels is beyond craft by a mile or two. It is art. Though my photography is not flattering to John's work, check out the hanging light, the stools, the table , the heart /barrel-strap art piece. It is all a matter of wine barrels + creativity + God-given artistry = great shopping opportunities.

Some more examples of John's talent and creativity and my poor photography.

This is a nice refurbished military desk we picked up for $45 (without dickering). Notice the leather chair in the background. They have a bunch more like that for sale that they found on Craigslist. J.C. Penny's sold them in the 70's and they are all mint like every thing else in the store.

It was funny, while I greatly admire all of pieces on display I was most drawn to the background of half of the store. Elaine, on the other hand, barely noticed anything but all the great items for sale. One side of the store is John's shop area and the other is his mancave. The two pictures spliced together above show opposite ends of the John Cave. On the right is the full kitchen that John did all the work on and the left pic shows the fireplace and mantle he installed. I don't think he made the plasma television himself , though it would not surprise me.

I highly suggest that you check out their blog which has much better photography and displays lots more of the items they have for sale. I suggest even more highly that you go to their Christmas sale this Saturday .

Learn more at their blog.

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