Springing into 2017!

Hello friends!

It’s been a long time since our last entry. The business is ever growing, despite our occasional nostalgia for a slower pace. Gone are the days of seven people sitting around a wood-stove with muffins at coffee break in the morning. But now we have three locations of wonderful employees thriving and crafting at a bustling pace in a beautiful timber-frame barn, as well as both a Warehouse with tons of space and a 40 foot wash tub, and a new shop in Cornwall, England. It’s hard to go wrong.

We’re having a lovely spring so far, with interesting projects and exciting new design challenges. We’ve taken on someone whose official job is sales and design (who knew!) to oversee customer service and design progression. Hi, Seth! Thanks for joining us!

We have also fallen into the temptation of updating mostly through social media. You’ve probably heard of Instagram, this new-fangled photo medium the kids are into. We love it, too. It’s so easy to upload a beautiful picture of a new structure (with some heart-eye emojis, to boot). Or a picture of the boss’ dog, when she’s just too cute to stand.

Our install schedule is about to fill up, and we’ll have some great new photos for you then. The weather has been playing tricks on us, but we know it’s not warm for good yet. Plant your radishes, but not your zinnias. And when you’re ready for your seasonal awning installation, give us a call! We’re here at 774-849-3505.

Happy Spring, everyone!

Crisp Flatbread: delicious AND well-shaded

You know that feeling you get, when you wake up and the air is crisp? The sunlight looks like clear water, and you know that fall is just around the corner?

Apparently we aren’t there yet. Bummer. You’ll notice, because of how it’s 93 degrees and as humid as it gets outside.

But the good news is, our installers are happy – delighted, even? – to meet at the Barn at 4:30 in the morning, and hit the road to beat the heat and the restaurant rush. Plus it’s never the worst to finish up an install at a restaurant around lunchtime.

Crisp Flatbread

the latest: two Sunbrella awnings for Crisp Flatbread in Osterville, MA

TriPod Setup

with a new triple-pole design and faceted finish, the varnish stands out as extra-luminous in contrast with the fresh white fabric


Dear Santa…


Is this what you’ll be leaving out with your milk and cookies (and carrots for the reindeer, of course)? If so, Santa wants you to know that you have been good! But the workshop is backed up, thanks to intriguing and delightful orders from other good friends.

Sperry Fabric Architecture is now working from a small Wait List system, so we are able to address the questions and concerns of each customer in a timely way. If you are interested in working with us, please send us a message soon. We will add your name to the list, and when some design time opens up we will reach out with product sketches and pricing estimates.

Wishing you a cozy holiday season with people you love –

All the year-round elves here at Sperry Fabric Architecture

Elf Hat Town

Summer 2015 Recap!

We have had a busy year, full of fun design puzzles! Here is a quick lightning-round recap of what we’ve been building in the shop.

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IMG_3535web sizeIMG_0882 web sizeweb size IMG_0888 web size IMG_3324Now that the cozy season has begun and our seasonal structures are warm and snug in their beds storage bays, we’ll post some project spotlights to show you what type of structure was selected for each site, why, and how we are taking orders these days to best attend to the needs of our customers.

Project Spotlight: A Fairytale Savannah Series Wedding

DSC_0200One of the joys of working in the creative field of Fabric Architecture is the passion for the finished product. Our woodworkers take pride in every step of the process – they go to the lumber yard to hand pick their materials – we have some awesome time-lapses of the lamination process! The finish has to be just right. This is their craft, and our wooden structures are unique. As Matt likes the say, no one is crazy enough to do what we do.

DSC_0412Once we take the final measurements of the rafters and their relative distances, the project moves upstairs and we all change gears to begin constructing the fabric. Savannah series tents have a number of careful details to keep everything well-secured and water-tight, and our crew moves quickly through the assembly process. We make sure that everything is just right, and then it’s time to start packing all of the many parts, hardware, tools, and anchors.Savannah Exterior

Even after all that, the part that never ceases to amaze us after years of this work, is the true beauty of the installation. We see the parts on our floor, in the snow, on the back of a truck, being varnished, being sanded, receiving the finishing touches. We can picture it clearly, and sometimes we even have digital renderings of the structure in its future home. But in this case, a picture is worth a thousand imaginings.DSC_0478For this, we can thank our customers. Your love of beauty and respect for our craftsmanship allows us to work by following our passion. The expansion of our business and creative thinking directly correlates to you, our clients, and the spaces that bring you joy.

We are looking forward to this coming spring and summer season, and we will be honored to continue trying to keep up with you!



Project Spotlight: The Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

I am excited to share this project with you, readers! This one was a unique experience, both in practice (the scale and breadth of this project was tremendous!) and in structure. We worked with Anthi Frangiadis (Hi, Anthi!) to help the folks at the Wequassett Resort complete their dream renovation and install the perfect tent for their space.
This is the first round Savannah Series wooden frame tent. The rings of the cupola are completely round, laminated in the shop with a combination of blood, sweat, tears, and magic. And glue and a lot of math. The varnished rafters extend out radially – but to suit the surrounding structures, the rafter lengths vary. Each rafter is a custom length – built to fall in the right place, at just the right height. The word clearspan applies extra to this tent – the whole ocean view is unobstructed by posts or poles, with a massive curved steel truss (we had a little help for that one, from a wonderful metal fabrication company out in Minnesota) supporting each and every long rafter on that side.

Another new element for us was coordinating with many other craftsmen and manufacturers in the same space. With most of our structures, we do the whole thing from top to bottom: frame, brackets, welding, and fabric. In this case, there were a number of things that we just could not do! The exquisite stonework for the flooring, for example, and the custom glass doors that face out to the ocean – these were just a couple of the details that joined with our tent to make a polished space. The steel truss was precisely designed and has a very small margin of error (1/4″!) – too high and the sea breezes would enter uninvited on chilly days, too low and the glass doors would not fit in the space allotted.

The timeline for installation was a relay race of quick and coordinated hard work, and we are happy to have been a part of the project. Please check out the Wequassett website for room availability, information about dining and special events, and to see more beautiful photos of the stunning vision they have brought to life.

Photographs courtesy of the Wequassett Resort and Warren Jagger Photography.

Autumn 2014

Autumn has arrived, and the crisp, cool air is rolling in! Being in Rochester is the best – there are orchards with juicy apples and festive pumpkins in every direction.We are well into scheduling autumn take downs of tension awnings, custom canopies, and any seasonal Sperry structures. Knock on wood, we have been able to wait a little longer this year because there has been no hurricane forecast to speak of in this area. Call us today to schedule your takedown; we also offer wash, check, repair, and storage services at your request.

We have had a busy summer season, dear readers, with very little time to stop and smell the flowers. Thankfully our install teams did have time to stop and snap some photos, and I am happy to share with you some of our latest projects in a preview here, before they go up on our website proper.

Mesh Tension Awning

a custom tension awning on the Vineyard – shade, rather than water resistance, was the priority – so we used a densely woven mesh to allow water to drain right through

White Tension Awning

a custom tension awning over a dining area – a classic white Sunbrella number, with our signature Sperry twist

Custom Sidewalls

custom clear sidewalls to protect party guests from ocean breezes on cool days


a custom Sperry Tent in Oahu, 58′ x 120′ – the biggest trick was putting it up over the monkeypod trees!

Hornblower Niagara

and the largest – a Savannah Series tent for Hornblower Niagara

If you are interested in a structure for installation in 2015, please give us a call, or send us an e-mail at info@sperryfabricarchitecture.com. We are making our way through our waiting list, and would love to help you with the perfect shade solution for your home or business.

Previously, on Sperry Fabric Architecture

It’s been such a busy spring!  By spring, I mean as soon as we rung in the New Year (Happy 2014!), the phone started ringing… And hasn’t stopped since!  Here are a few of the projects we have been working on so far, with lots more to come.

photo 3



a Savannah Tent for the beautiful new waterfront space at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Harwich (you can see this photo and many more at their facebook page)

Niagara Frame


a Savannah Series tent for Hornblower Niagara Cruises – get your passports ready!



a lovely custom Sperry canopy in Marion

a lovely custom Sperry canopy in Marion


a wooden archway for the Manchester Yacht Club

a wooden archway for the Manchester Yacht Club



a delicate, custom Savannah Series Tent for a private residence

Here’s to a busy spring, and our wonderful customers.  Thank you for your continued support, and wonderfully creative ideas.

New projects are currently being scheduled for Spring 2015 installation. This train is not slowing down!

Savannah Series in Paradise

Since there’s snow all over the place, this must be the perfect day to discuss this puppy.  This is a relatively small, rectangular Savannah Series tent that lives in the Bahamas, gently buffeted by sea breezes.


Tragically, I was not in charge of this installation.   Installing a concrete anchored, wood-framed tent is just like writing a blog post, right?   I know, I know, you’re right.  Not exactly the same.  That’s what the boss said, too.

We were thrilled to be hired to build this structure for a small hotel on Harbor Island.  The client was looking for a shade structure for a beautiful existing patio and outdoor dining space.  We loved customizing this Savannah to suit the space, which meant modifying the usual radial-end frame to a rectangular model, and extending the posts to a height of 9’6″ to make sure the gorgeous view was unencumbered.  Instead of our usual varnished pine and fir, we used unfinished cedar to allow for the wood to age in an organic way.  The frame will age from this beautiful tawny red, to a distinguished beach-side silver.

Bahamas Top

We used a lovely, lightweight vinyl for the tent panels to ensure great mildew and UV resistance, and an easy-to-clean surface.

Many thanks to the Ocean View Club for the photos!

What could be more inviting on the Eve of a Massachusetts February?  Stay classy in the sun for us, little tent!

Thank goodness!

I’m not sure if you’re aware – but it is Friday today!

The Rare 105 Model

We’ve been moving into miniatures these last few weeks – models for shows,
and prototypes for us to throw buckets of water on.
(Unicorn not included.)

One must always protect the wine.

One must always protect the wine. (Thanks, Anthi!)

Shadow and Rafter

A small sampling of our ducks in a row! Fresh rafters, get ’em here!
(Spooky ghost shadow not included.)


X marks the spot! For what, I'm not sure...

X marks the spot! For what, I’m not sure, but it looks pretty intense.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!