Furniture maker creates live-edge pieces for commercial spaces
By Hollie Deese
Connecticut native Adam Cremona never intended to make furniture, or to live in Nashville. After high school he put college on hold to travel the world, snowboard and make music.
“I lived in Thailand for a little bit and just wanted to experience things other than education — a different kind of education,” he says.
He went back to college at age 27 for an undergrad degree at Savannah College of Art and Design in 2003. There, he got his BFA in painting and met his wife, Sera. In 2008 they moved to Nashville together, where they both worked in galleries while trying to make a living doing art, waiting tables and producing music.
They ended up in Nashville because of family, deciding to move after visiting their nephews so often.
“People were really approachable down here versus up in New York,” he says. “And even though I had connections up there, I was making way more connections down here. I was just a hamster in a wheel up there.”
They moved into an apartment on Fatherland Street — right behind Far East where the Hatcheries are now — and it was in Nashville that he was drawn to creating furniture.
“My father is 84 now, but he was an architect in New York and always had projects for us to do around the house — building decks and things like that, swinging a hammer. But I’d never been drawn to furniture,” he says.
He started making stuff on the tailgate of his pickup truck, though, and word of mouth began to spread. The couple they moved to Hermitage, and he got some woodworking tools to expand his operation to fill his two-car garage. After software company Force X showcased some of his custom work, demand exploded enough to where he was able to move Cremona Custom Built into a commercial space.
“I knew that I needed to do something creative,” he says. “This was an opportunity, and I jumped on it — took a leap of faith, because really I had nothing else to lose. And now it’s become a huge passion.”
Cremona has local sources for dimensional lumber and has cultivated relationships all over the country for the live-edge material. And if live edge is what a client wants, part of his lead time includes the sourcing. It’s important to Cremona that he finds the right material, and if the wood hasn’t been in a kiln yet, it needs to be. So more time is added for drying.
He does some residential work, but he’s drawn to commercial clients because of the challenge of expressing his emotion and creativity within the realm of professionalism — such as a live-edge table that includes a metallic blue epoxy resin river in the middle.
He’s currently working on a build for Microsoft in Chicago out of his space in Hermitage, and he just finished a big table for Universal Music Group.
“The most successful projects are the ones that are a collaboration among everybody,” he says. “I love being able to present an idea and run with it and have all the artistic license, but I also love working with architects — they are really great thinkers and have wonderful ideas.”