"We Like to do Difficult Things"
by Steve Carlson
A stairway, according to Lynn Smith, is a "freestanding
sculpture on a grand scale."
Smith's firm, Woodsmiths Design and Manufacturing,
builds stairways for elegant homes throughout
the U.S. Each is custom designed for a specific
setting. Most include curves or spirals; many include
intricate wood carvings.
The stairways are built at the Woodsmiths plant
in Gunter, Texas. Each is then knocked down in
sections and trucked to the home, where the pieces
are reassembled "like a very large puzzle." Smith
and his 15 employees handle all stages of construction,
transportation, and installation. Depending
on the complexity, a stairway takes between six
weeks and four months to complete.