For Loran Bohall Death and taxes are not the only constants in life. There is also woodwork. As a child in Columbus, the fourth-generation furniture maker was surrounded by sawdust. “Everyone had a wood shop,” he says. “My aunts were wood carvers, and my father made chopping boards and worked as a guitar maker.”
When he was a teenager, Bohall was already a part-time woodworker. Today he heads the Indy-based Bohall Design and Fabrication, which focuses on furniture for businesses. “It’s difficult for people to understand how much work goes into home furniture,” he says. “I quickly realized that if I wanted to try it, I had to get into the commercial industry.”
Bohall’s pieces for offices and retail spaces sometimes contain lumber and other challenging elements. Many are great statement pieces. Bohall remembers jamming a ten-foot-long, five-foot-wide conference table for a customer in a third-floor window. “The wind caught the table and he sat on the edge,” he says. “My heart is frozen. It could have dropped three stories. Fortunately, one of my coworkers put a hand on it by the window and put it inside. But it was terrifying. In fact, many of these pieces are so expensive to make. “
Custom pieces start at $ 1,500 but can easily reach five-digit numbers. As his work has attracted the interest of homeowners, Bohall recently started manufacturing a line of furniture for private customers as well. “For someone who doesn’t want to buy a $ 10,000 dining table, here is a piece of furniture that we make to measure,” he says.
No matter what he builds, Bohall sources his wood sustainably from local wood factories. Walnut, maple, ash and oak are some of its standbys. Depending on the size and complexity of the parts, he mixes handwork and processing. Whether it is one of his huge conference tables or a compact mid-century desk, most Bohall furniture has a distinctive element that people remember.
“I was really lucky to have so much creative control,” he says.