Kudos logo

Menu

Eye of the Eagle: Kenny New teaches people how to make furniture out of wine barrels


Phoenix resident Skip Peeples works on an Adirondack chair during one of Kenny New’s wine barrel furniture making classes in Camp Verde. For the past four-plus years, New has been making furniture out of wine barrels. VVN/Bill Helm

Phoenix resident Skip Peeples works on an Adirondack chair during one of Kenny New’s wine barrel furniture making classes in Camp Verde. For the past four-plus years, New has been making furniture out of wine barrels. VVN/Bill Helm


Originally Published: May 25, 2021 2:59 p.m.

Deb Lynch likes making furniture out of wine barrels. The only thing keeping the Camp Verde resident from making more furniture is time.

In January, Lynch took a wine barrel furniture making class from Kenny New of Eagle Eye Barrels. She only needed one word to describe the experience recently. “Fabulous.”

“I’d visited Kenny’s store before the classes,” Lynch says. “His love of the art of what he’s doing, always thinking of doing new things, it’s awesome.”

Lynch also noticed New’s ability to adapt to his clients. Give someone a structured plan, watch their minds come up with ideas on how to tweak into something utterly them.

“He was all about making that happen,” she says. “He provides such a relaxed atmosphere. You can feel how much he loves his work.”

Can-do kind of guy

New, Lynch says, is a “can-do kind of guy.”

On average two times each month, New offers wine barrel furniture classes at his Camp Verde showroom, 120 E. State Route 260. Participants learn to construct a unique one-of-a-kind French oak wine barrel creation with furniture artisan master crafters.

If that sounds like an advertisement, it is. But it’s really a whole lot more. Phoenix resident Skip Peeples considers himself a hobbyist in the furniture-making world. More specifically, he likes to work with his hands.

In late March, Peeples made an Adirondack chair at New’s workshop.

“I needed something for my backyard,” Peeples says. “Instead of buying it, I thought ‘why not make it?’ I’ve been very interested in more sustainable stuff, using and recycling materials for sustainability. Kenny teaches a fantastic course. It’s fun to be able to do that, and he really makes it for beginners.

Making wood sing

From furniture maker to teacher to prospective furniture makers, New has been working with wood for decades going pretty far back. His website, eagleeyebarrel.com, is an opportunity for folks not living near his Camp Verde showroom to order furniture repurposed from wine barrels.

“Now, all of our friends are placing orders,” Peeples says.

For the past four-plus years, New has been making furniture out of wine barrels. Although he thoroughly enjoys making art out of the barrels, New admits it’s not a quick process.

“It’ a craft,” he says. “It’s handcrafted, not (made in) a factory where it’s blown together.”

“Making wood sing” is one way New describes his craft, his art.

Visit eagleeyebarrel.com for more information or to sign up for one of New’s classes.

photo

Tanya Fields of Frisco, Texas, takes one of Kenny New’s wine barrel furniture making classes in Camp Verde. VVN/Bill Helm