Meet the Artist: Mitch Fleming, woodworker

Most days, you can hear Mitch Fleming of Swainsboro working on his carpentry, for hours at a time. I should know—I’m his neighbor. To say this man is industrious is like saying college football is a mildly popular sport in the South. This man works. A lot.

He says he got into carpentry while in another line of business. “I was building and remodeling homes,” said Fleming. “I got into building furniture around three years ago.” He has also remodeled his own home, including the kitchen. (Side note: He built the countertops for my husband’s pottery studio in our backyard eight years ago; they have withstood the repeated pounding of wet clay like the Rock of Gibraltar.)

Woodworking and building furniture is his full-time occupation now, and he has been churning out beautiful pieces of furniture, a few of which found their way onto our back deck several years ago—an excellently crafted octagonal wooden table and two matching chairs. He told us back then it was a gift to make up for “all the noise” he was making building stuff. (His generosity far outweighed any perceived noise, I can assure you.)

There doesn’t seem to be much he can’t build. Take a look at the Facebook page his wife, Sable, has created. Called “Southern Roots,” the page has images of everything he has built in the last few years. Using mostly birch and pine, his pieces include hall trees, pews, benches, beds, tables, consoles, and bookcases. He says he likes building hall trees best. “I really enjoy anything new and challenging,” he said. It’s a true partnership with the Flemings, too. Sable is a full-time nurse at East Georgia Healthcare, but she also paints and distresses the furniture her husband creates, and manages their social media accounts.

The Flemings have shipped their sizable items all across the country to 21 states. Besides shipping in-state, his pieces have reached Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Montana, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Oregon, New Mexico, Michigan, Kansas, Virginia, Illinois, Arkansas, California, Ohio, Washington, Texas, Missouri, and Utah.

Fleming’s furniture may be purchased at a store called Finders Keepers in Pooler. You can also find his creations on Etsy at SouthernRootsCD and on Instagram @southernrootscustomdesign. He does custom orders as well.

So what does he hope to see happen in the next few years? He says his goal is “to be in all states.” By the looks (and sounds!) of it, he’s well on his way.

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