Hewn & Forged Carves Out Custom Finishes

by | Apr 2024

Elegant beams draw the eye to the fireplace which uses the mantel to accentuate a focal point in the room.

Elegant beams draw
the eye to the fireplace which uses the mantel to accentuate a focal point in the room. Photos: Hewn & Forged

Edina Innovation Lab helps woodworking business grow to new heights.

There is an endearing beauty to handcrafted woodwork. Each piece of wood tells a story. The way it is cut, shaped and carved reveals its inner soul. But what happens when a craftsman masters a skill but can’t take their business to the next level?

That was the situation Tom Ramy of Hewn & Forged was in after more than a decade in the woodworking business. Ramy’s shop makes mantelpieces, decorative ceiling beams, wine racks and decorative signs.

He turned to the Edina Innovation Lab (the Lab) for answers. The Lab is part of the Edina Chamber of Commerce, and it has a mastermind class called BIG that is designed to help small businesses in their journey.

“I love working with other entrepreneurs and business owners to see how they interact and how they operate their businesses,” Ramy says. “There’s a couple people that specifically helped me think differently about how to operate my business.”

That introspection, coupled with networking, is what helps businesses move forward.

“We help businesses with connections and alignment,” says Annette Wildenauer, chief innovation officer of the Lab. “Sometimes, it’s a conversation, sometimes a strategy. We meet businesses where they are.”

Wildenauer also knew Ramy makes custom pieces. He designed tables, side tables and a coat rack for the new Edina Chamber of Commerce’s office in the E Building.

“When we were looking at tables for our conference room, I knew I wanted something unique and locally crafted,” Wildenauer says. “The end result is beautiful. I wanted a unique shape and beautiful wood and an interesting focal point. I believe we accomplished that.”

While Ramy has success with custom orders, the prime focus of Hewn & Forged is ceiling beams. The beams are not supportive, only decorative. They are designed to visually elevate interiors to new heights.

“We do different textures. Some are smooth. Some are more rustic. And they’re all handcrafted,” Ramy says. “We don’t have any machines that make distress marks on them. We do them manually.”

That dedication to human touch is at the heart of Hewn & Forged philosophy. Unlike mass-produced alternatives, every mantelpiece and ceiling beam is created by skilled artisans wielding a woodworking tool known as an adze. This centuries-old instrument has a curved blade, which allows craftsmen to shape and sculpt wood with precision. Since the work is done by hand, each creation ends up distinct and unique with subtle differences.

Hewn & Forged is also known for its wine racks, which Ramy says seamlessly blend form and function. The wine racks stretch vertically up the wall and hold the bottles in such a way that it turns the wine rack into an art installation.

Using a wine rack as an art piece at Vayner Media in New York.

Using a wine rack as an art piece at Vayner Media in New York.

Ramy believes in supporting small businesses and sources all wood from a mill in northern Minnesota.

“It’s in a small town west of Bemidji. A couple owns a mill up there. We’re a small business, so we just build up the chain,” he says.

They are a testament to the enduring beauty of handmade craftsmanship and local business.

Hewn & Forged
668 Industrial Circle S., Shakopee; 612.568.8460
Facebook: Hewn & Forged
Instagram: @hewnandforged


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