Oak Creek The logs that line the walls of Derrick Adrian's shop are chairs, tables and beds yet to be imagined.
In the meantime, a thick layer of sawdust settles over them as Adrian sands the wood that will comprise his latest log creation.
Since the carpenter opened his furniture store in Oak Creek a year and a half ago, he has designed and crafted countless pieces of furniture from the logs.
The myriad of designs on his showroom floor and in his shop holds only one similarity a lack of similarity.
Unlike a painter who might sell numerous prints of the same watercolor, Adrian promises no likenesses.
No two ladders mirror each other. No bench offers a carbon copy of another bench.
"If every piece was the same as the next, it would take the fun out of it," he said.
The makeup of the wood largely determines what an end table, chair or bed frame will look like, Adrian said.
Rather than working against the gnarled and twisted qualities of the wood, he takes advantage of the inconsistencies to produce consistently unique pieces.
Most pieces involve 30 to 60 hours of sawing, sanding, constructing and polishing.
The end result always comes as a pleasant surprise to Adrian, who said the finished products sometimes differ from what he imagined.
The same could be said of his business endeavors.
Adrian came to Steamboat four years ago and built houses before deciding to put all of his energy toward building furniture.
He soon discovered, he said, that a business involves more than renting space and paying the utility bills every month.
Yet those discoveries cannot match the satisfaction he finds in selling what he makes, he said.
"At first I asked 'What did I get myself into?'"
"But then you get a piece done and it's fairly rewarding."
Adrian took some of his inspiration from his grandfather's handmade wooden furniture.
The grandson continues to learn by doing.
Adrian's house serves as a gallery of sorts, where pieces he couldn't part with found a home.
When he began trying his hand at log furniture, every piece seemed better than the last, he said.
Now that he knows the confidence that comes with hours of practice, he can share the tricks of the trade with curious onlookers.
When people drop by to ask how he makes a particular piece of furniture, he doesn't withhold the information.
"I encourage people to try to do something on their own," he said.
Adrian's work appears in Steamboat businesses as well as furniture stores outside the state.
His supply of wood comes primarily from remnants of trees he is allowed to collect from nearby forests.
Earlier in the year, so many logs filled his workshop that he had little room to work.
Adrian can be found six days a week at his furniture store on Main Street.
Sanding the wood takes up much of his time, as evidenced by the sawdust and woodchips that pervade his work area.
"It's a necessary evil," he said.
The random appearance of Adrian's work disguises his careful planning.
Before he can begin piecing together the back of a bench or a railing for a house, he must find the best way to give his furniture a fluid quality.
The unruly branches and logs should flow together to appear as one piece, he said.
The best fit for a particular piece of wood still eludes him, so the log will sit outside until the carpenter finds his muse.
Art, after all, cannot be rushed.
"You can almost consider it artwork," he said. "It will only work well one way."
"And it's hard to sell something you're not 100 percent sold on."