April 2007 Issue
Rick Metz loves Music -- and building furniture.
So it's easy to see why combining his two passions - playing drums, guitar and keyboard since he was 10 years old and crafting
contemporary dining tables and sofas since 1985 - has turned out to be so fulfilling.
Metz, 53, was thumbing through a music catalog a little over two years ago when an ad caught his eye.
"They had a chair in there for guitar players," the Cincinnati resident recalls. It was like a grandma's rocking chair without arms. I thought, â€˜There has to be something better than that.' I sat down, drew pictures and came up with a concept. Within two weeks, I had the very first guitar chair."
Fashioned out of Russian birch, the chair was patterned after the Gibson guitar designed by jazzman Les Paul. Metz posted the chair on eBay, and within a week it was snapped up by a Rhino Records executive who managed a pop-art store in California.
Since then, he's built some 100 chairs, which take about 20 hours each to complete. Designs are based on instruments favored by a host of luminaries, ranging from Gene Simmons (who promotes Metz's work on his Web site), Eric Clapton and Eddie Van Halen to producer Oliver Leiber, who purchased one as a wedding gift for former Yardbird Jeff Beck. To complement the chairs, Metz also designs coffee tables and clocks in the shape of guitar picks. Prices range from $50 for a clock to $799 for a chair.
"Making these pieces is like a marriage between everything I've ever known," he says. "Sometimes I pinch myself because I don't believe how lucky I am."
For more information, call 513/675-9907 or visit www.metzfunctionalart.com.