TY TYSON

"Old Florida" Palm Furniture Individually Handcrafted in Micanopy, Florida

The Story     |      How to Order     |    Gallery    |     Call: 352-466-4982

 

Gainesville Realty Results

 

Florida's Eden

 
 

Working in the tradition of the Old Florida artisan, Ty Tyson collects and prepares

his own materials, and works in his barn workshop on the property adjacent to his

home. Florida has a long tradition of using what the land had to offer. Homes

operated without air conditioning, collected rainwater off the roof, and were built

of termite-resistant heart pine. Today we call this "green" and "sustainable" living.

Ty builds his furniture in the same "green" manner. The various types of palms

used in his furniture are all collected from his own homestead property adjacent

to a broad Florida prairie. He can only use as much material as this small parcel of

land will produce, keeping the entire operation sustainable.  River-recovered and

other recycled hardwoods are incorporated into the pieces of furniture.

Palm frond furniture found its way into homes and motels around the state from

the turn of the 20th century through 1950s. The first artisans of this style are

presumed to be African Americans. The natural materials, light and airy

construction, simple curved designed elements and minimal need for upholstery

appealed to buyers and suited the climate of tropical and subtropical Florida. A

true folk art, palm furniture was not sold in stores, but was marketed off the back

of a maker's truck, traveling through neighborhoods, the back country, and seaside

towns.

Ty began making "Old Florida" palm frond furniture in the 1990s, first in the

traditional styles, and then adding new designs.  Many clients and friends have

enjoyed getting involved with the "creation" process, adding to what has become

really great furniture. Just looking at this furniture makes you smile!

In addition to palm fronds, materials are used from salvaged buildings, like the

100-year old reclaimed heart of pine, Florida cypress and native cherry. Other

woods are reclaimed from North Florida rivers where old lumbering activities

abandoned submerged logs. Quality materials, simple elegance and honest design

have contributed to the success of this furniture as it moves from the porch to

designed interiors at home and at work.

More on the history of Palm Frond Furniture | click here.