Meet the artist

"Custom rocking chairs are one of the most challenging and rewarding woodworking creations I’ve ever made."

Artist with new Mahogany Chair

After working for years as a healthcare executive, Larry Roofner turned a life long interest in glass and wood working into a new career as an artist and fine craftsman. “I founded Grand Entrance in 1997, and began designing and creating handmade doors.” His custom entryways in hardwoods and with mouth-blown glass from Germany and custom bevels are in over 60 residences in Florida, Tennessee and Chicago.

Artist Doors

"I use traditional technique to make a contemporary piece."

He completed a three-year apprenticeship with Karl Kalamaja, a 76-year-old German master woodworker who taught him to do things the Old World way, using techniques to build doors from the 18th and 19th centuries. Larry made various pieces of furniture for friends and family and in 2007 , he completed an apprenticeship in Virginia with the noted chair maker, Hal Taylor and began making sculptural rocking chairs. Rocking chair university

In 2009, while riding his bike to work out at the YMCA, Larry was broadsided by a car going 50-60 mph. His severe injuries hospitalized him for a month in a trauma intensive care unit, followed by 4 more months in the hospital and a year of extensive rehabilitation. His desire to return to woodworking helped drive the hard work required to recover. In late 2010, he returned to his studio and began making his rocking chairs again.

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