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Making It Specially for You

April 7, 2009

Niermann Weeks has always been fortunate to attract patrons, designers and architects who come to rely on us for their special needs.  This is the case study of one of our most special relationships.

In 1976 Joe and I moved to Memphis, TN, where the roots of our company lie.  We were lucky enough to receive support and training from three major patrons: Rodgers Menzies, Jimmy Graham, and Roland Gerhardt, from all of whom we still get orders.  Rodgers and Joe have developed an especially productive relationship that resulted in many new products.

Our first bed together in 1977 was so labor-intensive that we soon quit making it.

Rogers Menzes Tole Bed

Rodgers Menzes Tole Bed

Rodgers created a bedroom for Memphis’ prestigious Madonna Circle Antique Show.  True to his style, he designed fruo-fruos and decorative details in profusion. Joe painted innumberable tiny floral swags on the headboard (visible here) and on every other surface of this bed.  The elaborate draperies create a cocoon in which the bed’s owner sleeps, and only she gets to enjoy all the details.  The tester detail was all hand-cut tole, which today we’d order from a laser cutter.  Then, I bought boxes of bandages and saw blades, so we could all cut, cut, cut.  We made three of these beds for Rodgers until finally our artists rebelled.  This is the only product for which Joe ever destroyed the patterns.  I’m glad I saved a Polaroid of the original.

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