Having worked with his hands for nearly thirty years, Clay Binkley’s handcrafted picture frames, mirrors, and tables are a perfect example of his exceptional level of fine craftsmanship, creativity, and perfectionism. Clay has a deep appreciation for old building materials and natural products. He incorporates both in each fine piece of work he creates.
This is evident not only in Clay’s fine crafts, but in the houses he has nearly single-handedly built through the years. Using original logs from an old house in Erin, hand-cut limestone from a schoolhouse in College Grove, and even floor joists from the old Harvey’s Department Store in Nashville, (re-planed into beautiful pine flooring), his homes become some of the most unique architecture in the state of Tennessee. As a Tennessee native, most of Clay’s materials are salvaged from the Williamson County area of Middle Tennessee and Sequatchie Mountain on the Cumberland Plateau. He has carefully stored many materials for over twenty years before finding just the right application for them. Clay’s description of each piece is similar to hearing someone describe a fond friend or close family member. “This piece of barn wood came from an old cow barn in the Yellow Creek area, up in a hollow. The old structure was coming apart at the seams, but at the bottom of the back wall, where a stream ran too close in the winter, the boards hung about two feet off the ground and made this great jagged edge. See, you can still see the old red paint. And this twisted piece of fence wire, it’s old and rusty, but tough...Tennessee tough.” Each piece of wire, wood, or even rusty roof tin has a rich, colorful history and comes together in a unique way to create a masterpiece of fine craftsmanship.