Across the road from Hill Farmstead is a funky, esoteric building. If you were to wander up to to the wooden door, you might discover a sign reading: Leaning Maples Woodcraft. It’s a wood-working shop, owned and operated by a sole proprietor, Darren Hill.
The shop itself is a humble operation, certainly not ostentatious in the least. Darren isn’t looking for hype or accolades, but his work speaks for itself. It is stunning. Mysteriously yet meticulously crafted. You can imagine that he is steel-eyed and somber faced, intensely focused on his work, but carrying just a curl of a devilish smile on his face all-the-while.
If you’ve ever been to Hill Farmstead, just on the other side of Hill Road, you’ve seen some of Leaning Maples’ work. For starters there is the bar itself in the taproom. Breathtaking is most assuredly an understatement. Tables, chairs, framing, signage, railings, tap handles, the more you explore, the more you discover.
Darren’s work proves that the Tom Robbins‘ quote is entirely true, that “a funky wooden table or chair can sometimes exceed in soulfulness the soul that may be invoked by a living tree.”
You know for certain, straight away, that Darren appreciates the medium, he respects the process of woodcraft itself. And that warrants all the love and respect in the world for the artist, the maker, the craftsman.