Commissioning Sandhill Designs custom Arts & Crafts furniture results in the assurance of working with a master furniture maker. Bill is deeply involved in every single detail, from concept and design, through production and finishing.
Bill Bale is an award-winning woodworker living in Western New York. Combining his love of Arts & Crafts style furniture with 20 years woodworking experience, he founded Sandhill Designs in 1995. His passion for Arts & Crafts furniture began with an old Mission Oak rocker he bought at an antique store in 1976. About that same time, his father-in-law introduced him to woodworking. Since then, Bill worked in home building for a while, and later spent five years honing his skills in a small shop creating antique reproduction roll-top desks.
Since those early days in the two car garage, Sandhill Bill has created his own line of fine bedroom and living room furniture. Each piece carries the distinctive Sandhill look—a slightly lighter feel created in natural hardwoods of primarily Cherry and Maple. These designs are often springboards for other ideas. Custom work is always welcome and encouraged.
Sandhill Designs remains a one-man shop. Bill works from the first contact with the client, develops the idea, and produces the furniture from rough boards to final finish. He then signs and dates every piece.
Today, with over 1000 pieces of his work functioning in homes, Bill still enjoys the custom design process and takes pleasure in helping people realize their dreams.
After moving from Morrisonville to rural Fort Atkinson, Bill founded the Earth Wood and Fire Artist Tour in 2000. This tour has grown to become one of the premier artist tours in Wisconsin featuring over 20 artists in 17 locations, annually drawing hundreds of people from Wisconsin and five surrounding states.
Bill was the Art Fair Director for the Wisconsin Alliance of Artists and Craftspeople (WAAC), from 2008 to 2014. This state-wide organization presents Winter and Summer Art Fairs Off the Square in Madison and promotes art through out Wisconsin.
Bill joined forces with his talented friend Jorn Mork to create a 6 foot wide by 8 foot tall three-dimensional mural for the entrance to the children’s section of the Fort Atkinson Public Library in 2011.
“This project has brought me so much happiness from the initial design process working with Jorn to the installation. When I visit the library now and see kids staring up at it in wonder, it fills me with joy every time.”
I specialize in modern interpretations that respect the fundamental look of 100 year-old originals. I include elements such as vertical lines, square motifs, corbels & broad over-hanging tops familiar in the work of the masters, but I also keep in mind I am making furniture to fit modern needs.
To commission your own Sandhill Designs, contact Bill or call for an appointment today.