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The Best Piece Is The Next Piece with Paul Shepherd | Friends of Build Magazine #78

Ted speaks with Paul Shepherd, founder of Forged Elegance in Bend, OR. Paul sources antique wood of all types and works to create beautiful furniture that is truly custom art. 

Today Ted speaks with Paul Shepherd, founder of Forged Elegance in Bend, OR. After an entire career in the HVAC industry, Paul transitioned to a new business – forging steel and combining it with antique wood to create elegant, one-of-a-kind furniture. Through his shop and showroom, Paul builds custom crafts with wood that has a story and has lived a life. 

Paul shares these stories, and Ted draws out his passion for the craft, his thoughts on the next generation, and his drive to continue creating during what should be Paul’s retirement. 


  • [1:40] Paul’s journey into working with antique wood
  • [6:05] Wood with a story
  • [8:40] What products are made from barnwood?
  • [10:28] Antique woods can crossover into different designs
  • [13:00] Astoria pylons
  • [14:20] Showroom in Bend, OR
  • [14:50] Business outside of Bend
  • [16:50] A community of artists
  • [24:00] Retiring from the HVAC industry and trying to make his best work
  • [27:40] Mentors through the years
  • [29:24] Getting young people interested, trained, and passionate
  • [36:50] Seeing through a difference lens to create new work
  • [39:15] What inspired you to start a new business after retiring?
  • [42:30] What’s the vision 5 years from now?
  • [45:35] What piece of advice to you give the younger generation?

CONNECT WITH Paul Shepherd


  • They have to be able to prove it to a point. I want some history to it that can be proven, otherwise I won’t just buy it. Otherwise it’s just regular old barn wood.
  • Every year we strive to do bigger and better.
  • When they fail you’ve got to show them how to do it successfully.


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