It’s been awhile since we’ve highlighted a local maker, but we have a treat for all of you! If you have a love for architectural salvage or re-purposing beautiful old pieces, look no further. White Station Architectural Finds is the brainchild of Blair Wright, a local Knoxvillian who finds, restores, and re-purposes all kinds of pieces, picked from all over the US.
About 5 years ago, preparing to be a vendor in an antique show in Clinton, Blair’s daughter Natalie suggested his Alma mater as a potential name for his craft. White Station High school in Memphis, where Blair attended, has roots dating back to the late 1800’s.
Blair loves the hunt and he loves the process of restoration and re-purposing. Blair comes by his love for picking honestly as he spent much of his childhood being drug through old homes all over the deep south by his mother and grandmother. Read more about how his journey with architectural salvage began and evolved, here. (click on the “story” section to expand)
In regards to picking, his favorite place is New York as he has access to many kinds of things there that aren’t available in Knoxville. Because Knoxville doesn’t have as many fancy historic houses, it’s harder to find the more intricate and elaborate pieces here or in surrounding areas. With a network of salvage yards in the North East, Blair enjoys digging through barns, shops, back rooms, and estates to find his treasures. He much prefers stumbling upon a barn or shed full of stuff than walking through an organized, barcoded storeroom.
On a recent trip to Virginia to pick up some balusters that he bought through Craigslist, he ended up being invited to look around the rest of the home and barn, resulting in the finding of a large amount of antique shutters and a pair of arched french doors. These jackpot moments are part of the thrill for Blair. With Facebook marketplace becoming so crowded, Blair often finds pieces at Auction as well.
Aside from selling his pieces in Clinton antique fairs, Blair sells to a few local and regional shops, and through pop ups like Help You Dwell’s Flea markets and Pineapple Consignment. The next opportunity to see and purchase his work will be at The 15th Annual Clinch River Fall Antique Fair
Part of being a good picker is knowing what your buyers are looking for. Blair has a working relationship with local shop The Back Porch Mercantile (take a closer look next time you are there-- the corbels holding up the back counter were finds from White Station), The Painted House in Cookeville, and a few other stores in the area. One shop may cater to a more primitive style while another may have a french provincial style. Blair has a system in place that allows him to do the grunt work of digging and picking to supply local shops with pieces they wouldn’t ordinarily have access to.
If you can’t make it to the Clinton Fair, you can always direct message Blair through Instagram if you are interested in something you have seen of his. Additionally, if you have architectural salvage that you are trying to offload or are hunting for a particular piece, contact him. He’d love to take a look!