This Fourth of July was a special day for me and for the Niermann Weeks Company. The Company won a Made in America Award, and a few of us got ringside seats on the Washington Mall to watch the fireworks extravaganza. The Made in America program each year recognizes American furniture makers who manufacture in the United States, using American craftspeople and recycling our income through the American economy. This year’s winners included Niermann Weeks, Hickory Chair, and Kittinger.
We are proud to stand with such distinguished firms.
Helping me celebrate were Dr. James and Rosemarie Howe, Bill Sancho, Rob Roberson, Justine Sancho, and Michael Roberson. The three women are interior designers with many years of patronizing Niermann Weeks. Bill and Rob both manage their spouse’s business. They all came out to help us party during DC’s power blackout on one of our hottest days on record. Many thanks!
But for several days before we showed up in our good clothes, my daughters, Eleanor and Claire, and my intern, Emma Xuan, spent hours in the un-air conditioned near dark to prepare our displays in the foyer and our bedroom. The lobby showed off our Fantome Side Table, Montaigne Floor Lamp, and the amazingly comfy Follot Chair. I love chairs with a back high enough to support my head, and the arm rests are an extra plus for me. It’s a great chair to read in.
Our mirrored Valois Bed takes pride of place in the bedroom, with a Fantome Bench at its foot. The linens are all courtesy of Nancy Corzine’s California furniture & textile company. Going from the left are a Cunyngham Chair, a Danish Commode and an Acanthus Lamp, the Valois Bed and Fantome Bench, a Biarritz Pendant, yet another Danish Commode with an Acanthus Lamp, and a Beaton Mirror. Visitors kept sitting on the bed to pose for glamorous portraits, so we just kept fluffing up the linens.
Looking into the front right corner of our room, my camera caught Emma taking a photo plus our Lucien Table, Montaigne Table Lamp, another view of the Biarritz Pendant, a many paneled Sevigne Screen of antiqued mirrors, and La Falaise Chair in a Groves Brothers silk.
To the other side of the bed the cool gray walls showed off the inimitable Emma, posing with a pair of Italian Sconces, one of Joe Niermann’s paintings inspired by a trip to China, and our often-imitated Baltic Console.
After all us furniture people accepted our awards and showed off our displays, then the party really started. Each year Made in America recognizes masters of different regional cuisines, this year the BBQ masters of the South. We enjoyed a tasting lunch of BBQ made from grass-fed beef, a delightful soup of heirloom peas, organic cheeses, organic wines and beers and ciders whose flavor could be enhanced by various flavors of vegetable-based bitters, an American prosciutto, and other goodies.
The afternoon was devoted to visiting with all the food and furniture honorees and some time-killing. The temperature Inside the Washington Design Center was about a zillion degrees more comfy than the outside air, so we really got quality visiting time.
The food honorees included:
Our lunch turned out to be a teaser for the evening meal, a full-on homage to Southern cuisine. For us carnivores, Rodney of Scott’s Bar Bee Que in Hemingway, SC prepared pulled pork, so succulent that the sauce was really not necessary. Others chefs provided fried chicken, succotash, tomato salad, the best mac & cheese I have ever eaten, cole slaw, spoon bread, lemonade, a rum punch, and a banana pudding for dessert. About 200 people enjoyed this bountiful feast.
After Emma had already begun her dinner, I stopped her to take this photo.
Afterwards, we had no more excuse to stay inside, so Emma, my friend Martha Riviere, and I walked the several blocks to the National Mall. To our surprise, the center of the Mall is completely torn up for reconstruction. So many people use the Mall for recreation and touring the museums that the grass had just gotten pounded into dirt. The dirt has been removed, and new foundation is being laid, and a tougher kind of grass will be planted. ETA: in December the Mall will be a grassy swath again.
This photo shows Emma against the crowds, the construction and the US Capitol.
We found a reasonable place to wait near the American Indian Museum, for the dark to bring the fireworks.
When night finally fell, the rockets glared red and the bombs burst in the air.
At the finale, we saw the Capitol bathed in light, and then we walked off into the dark to get my car.
Thanks for reading my blog about this day that gave me so much pride in being a furniture maker in the land of the free and the home of the brave!
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