Tucked away in the hills of Newport is a small woodworking shop that sells fine furniture across the country, Smoky Mountain Woodworks.
The carpenter who started Smoky Mountain Woodworks in Newport has been building furniture for 30 years. Doug Bittinger knows it's all about the wood.
"It's what they call green lumber. It's very wet. And we have to stack it with sticks in between so the air circulates and it dries evenly otherwise it will cup and split. It takes about two years for most wood," he said.
Thicker wood may take eight years to ten years to dry but it's worth the wait.
"Just raw rough lumber and turning it into something beautiful is the next best thing to giving birth I think," he said.
He transforms the wood into furniture in a workshop. It is not a quick process.
"This is my machine room, this is where I make all the parts. Then the parts go into the next room which is my assembly room. I have a little more room to work there, normally. Right now it's a little crowded," he explained. "From there it goes into the next room which is my finishing room where I can spray finish."
That's the mechanics of the process to create what he calls functional art.
His wife Marie gives him some design ideas.
"I would have an idea and say could you build this and he'd say sure and the next thing you knew he'd built it," Marie Bittinger said.
Most of the furniture he builds in his workshop is custom ordered.
"A lot of what we do is off the internet. And people have an idea in mind. Either they've got a picture or they've got an idea," Marie said.
The internet lets Smoky Mountain Woodworks exist in Newport yet sell fine furniture across the country.
Doug Bittinger enjoys being his own boss and creating functional art.
Marie said, "It's something we enjoy and something we can make money at so what else could you ask for."
He asks for quality lumber because the texture and quality of the wood make each item unique.
"It is extremely high quality," she said. "I can tell you that he is a perfectionist. Even things that I say well that looks fine. He's like no it could be a little better."
Doug said, "I've had to turn down a few jobs where they said just knock it together quick, it doesn't have to be fancy. Sorry, can't do that. That's not me."
He's a woodworker who invests a lot of passion into each piece of furniture.
"There have been a few of them that I just almost wanted to call the customer and say sorry deal's off I've got to keep this one. Never have. But there's been a few," he said.