"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.