About my work:
I build each piece individually. In most cases my work is designed to be noticed, looked at, and touched. Commissioned pieces are designed and built for clients with a specific purpose or use in mind. Each commission begins with a conversation with the client about their needs. I try to identify what the piece will be used for, where it will reside, and how it will fit in with existing furniture and decor. I follow up with sketches and progress to CAD drawings as appropriate.
Occasionally I build on spec. I find this work integral to my growth as an artist and craftsperson. Client work is constraining by definition because each piece is built for a specific purpose. When I build on spec, I can take more risks and am able to challenge myself with new techniques and styles while following my own visual and aesthetic interests.
All of my designs are my own, whether based on existing furniture or not. Usually my furniture is inspired by Federal, Shaker, Mid-Century or Japanese style and tradition. I am not bound to any particular style and I take my own interpretations and use different details where I think they belong.
I select materials for each individual piece. I am meticulous matching grain and color and when possible I use material from larger planks or planks cut from the same log. The result of this is glue lines that are nearly invisible and each piece of furniture looks like a cohesive unit and not a jumbled set of randomly assembled boards. Additionally, I select stock with specific grain patterns for each part of the project. There are technical reasons for this as well as aesthetic. Boards with certain grain orientation are dimensionally more stable and resist twisting and warping – I use these for door frames and other parts that where such movement is unacceptable. Aesthetically, straight grained pieces contribute a much more organized visual effect. I use these pieces strategically to highlight and frame other pieces with more figured or outrageous grain and to give the finished piece an overall more organized feel.
Hand tools are essential for my work. I find hand tool work relaxing and calming and it slows down the building process to a point where I have more time to observe an unfinished piece of furniture and make adjustments as the project progresses. I certainly use power tools extensively – they are the efficient choice for many tasks. However, well tuned hand tools allow me to remove material slowly and precisely so I can sneak up on the perfect shape for each workpiece. The subtle curves, tapers and bevels possible with hand tools help avoid the mass produced look and allow me to make each piece customized and unique.