The past, present and ever-promising future of Boulder’s own Dancing Grains Woodworks
It all started with a spoon.
While working as a wilderness therapy instructor years ago, Austin Aaron found himself without a spoon. So, he carved one. One became two, two became three, a spoon became a spatula, and on and on it went.
For years, he nurtured his hobby as just that: a hobby. Woodworking was no grand plan, no long-held passion from childhood. His love for crafting quietly snuck into his long-term vision, and made itself right at home.
Eventually, Aaron leaned in, as he found that his passion and energy for woodworking surpassed most everything else. And thus, Dancing Grains Woodworks was born.
Now, years removed from crafting that first spoon, Aaron stands in his brand-new showroom, complete with stunning examples of the “bespoke modern furnishings” he and his team have crafted. A wide variety of handmade tables, chairs, cabinetry, barn doors, railings, coffee tables and more fill the room, each semi-customizable, ready to flawlessly complete whatever space a customer can dream up.
Dancing Grains boasts an extensive offering of “original designs in furniture, doors, and other architectural/interior design elements,” with the goal of creating inspiring environments, and to bring excitement back to everyday furniture and materials.
One-of-a-kind heirlooms and fully custom pieces supplement several lines of made-to-order furniture available in a variety of sizes and wood species. Moving forward, Aaron notes, he is focused on completing their existing queues, so that each piece will boast a broad selection of complementary coordinating pieces.
Beyond the stunning craftsmanship evident in each Dancing Grains work, a unique facet of each creation is the wood used to build it. The team currently sources lumber from urban areas, salvaging trees that are being cut down for maintenance or for prescribed inner-city growth.
In other words, trees that are coming down anyway.
The ecological impact of this choice extends beyond Dancing Grains. By “extracting [the trees] from the waste cycle, [Dancing Grains helps] reduce the demand on newly-logged trees that would otherwise be left standing, reduce carbon impacts associated with their carbon sequestration, transportation, and drying, and provide a new carbon-neutral option with a local story.”
While Dancing Grains can’t yet obtain all the wood needed by solely using this method, Aaron is hoping that one day they’ll be exclusively milling and salvaging urban trees for all of their work.
As Aaron explains, the Dancing Grains team is “geared toward making pieces that really speak out in their environment, whether in a subtle way or an exciting one.” In order to make sure each semi-customizable piece is truly a fit for the customer, the Dancing Grains showroom features its very own “board room” where customers and admirers alike can browse through slabs of an array of species of wood to find the pieces that really stand out.
As the team is salvaging much of their wood from urban areas, they do their best to keep track of the life cycles of their trees; they can often tell customers what town or even what intersection their wood comes from.
There is a sparkle in Aaron’s eye as he talks of his team, his showroom and the future of his company. From his humble beginnings carving spoons to carving masterpieces for the new showroom, Dancing Grains is a Boulder gem, boasting truly unique pieces of unparalleled quality.
You can discover Dancing Grains Woodworks for yourself at their new showroom, located at 1001 Lee Hill Drive #3A in Boulder.