PREVIOUS ARTICLE

Artist of the West: Landscape Conversations: Jerolyn Dirks

Painting the images of daily life, the artist offers soulful glimpses in her work

NEXT ARTICLE

Image of the West: George Catlin’s American Buffalo

Ahead of his time, the 19th century artist's fascination with Native America culture set a tone for how we consider preserving the American West today

Book matched Claro Walnut bar with hand carvings and clearcoat with glaze finish. Photo courtesy of Richard Garwood

Mountain High Woodworks

Building custom cabinetry for one of a kind homes

Written by Michele Corriel  

Michele Corriel

Other Contributions

Layers of the Mind Warriors and Quiet Waters The Vision of a Chef Wright On Target Shadows and Light The Symbolism of Jean Albus Peak Performance Ones to Watch Expressionism of Theodore Waddell A Reminder of Nature’s Wildness The Peak of Design The Homestead Inspired Renovation The Art of Time: Montana Watch Company Ranch Style Reinterpreted Artist of the West: Celebrating Nature Artist of the West: Poetry in Painting Artist of the West: Fine Lines Artist of the West: Taking Chances Artist of the West: Pure Plein Air Artist of the West: Water, Paint, and Paper Artist of the West: Ambassador of Art: Ray Campeau Artist of the West: Share the Art Montana Expressions Artist of the West: A Story in Clay Artist of the West: Pop Culture Meets Modernism Artist of the West: Landscapes Wild and Serene Artist of the West: River, Sky, Paint Artist of the West: The Art of the Sporting Life Artist of the West: Art from the Heart Keeping Up with the Upkeep Artist of the West: Television West Artist of the West: Painting Wild Artist of the West: Impressionist Tradition Artist of the West: Western Versatility Mountain High Woodworks Artist of the West: Ensnared in the Human Form A Twist of Style Artists of the West: Art and the Environment: Three Voices Artist of the West: Sweat and Steel Artist of the West: Landscape Conversations: Jerolyn Dirks Artist of the West: New Directions: Shawna Moore Artist of the West: Creative Chaos Local Knowledge: A Celebration of the Arts Artist of the West: Shirley Cleary Artist of the West: Maker’s Mark Artist of the West: The Timeless Scenes of W. Steve Seltzer Artist of the West: Sara Mast’s encaustic paintings explore the cosmos Artist of the West: Natural Impressions Artist of the West: The Ties That Bind Artist of the West: The Bronze Wildlife of Tim Shinabarger
August 2009

Mountain High Woodworks, one of the premiere high-end custom cabinetry shops in the region, is the brainchild of Richard Garwood. Three decades ago Garwood began in a little shop up a logging road in the Bridger Mountains. Business has been lively for Garwood and his longtime staff, including facility manager Shawn Green, who has been with the business for 25 years.

Today, when Garwood opens the door to his Mountain High Woodworks showroom, the room seems a little unfinished, although it’s been in operation for years.

“We just haven’t had the time to get it done,” he says, his eyes smiling as he opens another door to the workroom. Mountain High Woodworks has grown into a 13,000 square foot woodworking facility that is dedicated to the design and fabrication of premium grade custom cabinetry and furniture for some of the most attractive homes in the mountain West.

Home to stunningly crafted cabinetry, using finishes and patinas beyond compare, Mountain High Woodworks turns the highly creative ideas of architects and designers into reality. “We’ve been lucky enough to work with the premiere area architects and builders who bring in design concepts that challenge our abilities and help bring us to a new level of craftsmanship,” Garwood says, walking into the first room of the work area. The sound of a high-powered vacuum nearly drowns out his words as the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine lines up a panel for milling. “We’ve done projects from Oregon to California, from Kansas City to Aspen, from Jackson to Minneapolis.”

Mountain High Woodworks recently finished up a large project — a two story octagonal library with walnut and claro walnut built-ins, coffered ceilings as well as a spiral staircase with curved glass insets. His personal joy in completing a project of that caliber is palpable. It is the kind of pride of work that places Mountain High Woodworks in the top echelon of their class.

“It’s been wonderful working with clients that have an appreciation for the kind of quality work we do,” Garwood says, walking from the CNC room to another where the heavy musk of freshly cut wood permeates the air. He delights in his company’s ability to complete extremely large projects on schedule. “Whether it’s a $30,000 job or an $800,000 job, I learned a long time ago, if you don’t meet your deadline news travels fast.”

After making a name for himself with Mountain High Woodworks, Garwood reached out to Southwest Door Company in Tucson, Arizona, for their highly customized Old World style doors. There he found something that hadn’t been seen in the Northwest before and soon he represented the company — now Architectural Traditions, in Montana. That partnership marked the beginning of Montana Sash & Door.

“We found the scrub planed and distressed finishes they used at AT complemented our high-end cabinetry,” Garwood says, standing in the finish room among work tables, the sting of turpentine hovering. “We deal with a lot of old wood with character and there are challenges that go with it. Building a perfectly stable piece of furniture-style cabinetry from unstable materials using engineered cores, or creating ‘antique’ doors, is an art. And there’s no limit to our finish capabilities.”

Mountain High Woodworks and Montana Sash & Door work together to offer clients an unparalleled result in coordinating styles and finishes for the ultimate one of a kind home.

Knotty Alder, lightly distressed with a stain and glaze finish. Photo courtesy of Richard Garwood

Recycled antique White Oak doors with scrub planed distress and a stain and glaze finish. Photo courtesy of Richard Garwood