Rick Badgley has made the little town of Three Rivers, California his home for 40 years. He owns and operates RB Woodworking, a one-man woodworking shop that focuses on building fine Arts and Crafts and Stickley reproduction furniture.
Originally from New Jersey, he moved to Three Rivers in 1970 as a VISTA volunteer and then stayed on building houses for a living. In all, he has built eight homes here.
In 1974, he purchased one of the few adobe homes that were built here in the 1940s. While living in the original house, Rick began to conserve and restore it and then 12 years later built an additional complimentary building, creating a traditional Mexican-style home built around a central courtyard. His intention was to keep integrity with the vision of the first owner-builder, Forrest Hopping, who was raised here in Three Rivers and then later raised his own family here. The house being made of adobe, a natural material perfect for the area, has some walls as deep as 18", providing its own thermal mass which keeps it cool in the summers and warm in the winters.
During these years, he also built his workshop. Equally unique, due to his interest in alternative building and underground houses, his workshop is a culvert — traditionally used to build roadways over rivers — that is then covered with earth. It provides a working environment that remains evenly cool for him to work in the hot summer weather.
It is in this shop, Rick has made the natural progression from home-builder to building cabinets, doors and windows for local contractors; to building fine Arts and Crafts and Stickley reproduction furniture. Long passionate about continuing the legacy of an era of master craftsmen, Rick creates beautifully hand-crafted quality furniture for his client’s homes. Starting with the traditional quartersawn white oak, he can reproduce or modify designs to fit a particular need. The finishing often involves the process of fuming and staining for color and then applying a hand-rubbed oil and wax finish. Seat cushions are made from natural leather hides and the hardware is hand-hammered, adding to the overall beauty of the pieces.
Rick’s home and workshop have previously been part of the annual Green Faire and Green Home Tour. And he has been a regular participant on the biennial Three Rivers Artists’ Studio Tour, opening his workshop and showing his work this coming March 23, 24 and 25, 2012.