People often ask me how I got into furniture making. I became a furniture maker because I couldn't find the right chairs for my dining room table. During the search process, I thought to myself, "I guess I'll just have to make my own chairs!" At this time, I had never built anything out of wood so I enrolled in a community education class: Beginning Woodworking.
Three months later, I had built a coat rack - a long way off from those dining room chairs, but on track for a new career! I devoured all the local classes I could over the next two years and built as much as I could with all the community education class time I could buy (living in an apartment, this was the only shop space I had).
Realizing that my hobby had quickly turned into my passion, I left my full-time job to focus solely on furniture making.
Already a college graduate, I knew I wanted to take a different approach to traditional schooling, so I became an apprentice; first to Berthold Schwaiger at the Bauhaus Apprenticeship Institute (now defunct since the founder's death ) and then to the renowned maker, designer and author Jeff Miller of J. Miller Handcrafted Furniture, both in Chicago, IL. After gaining nearly a year and a half of invaluable experience, I moved back to Minneapolis and set up shop of my own.
Thirteen years later, I have earned a reputation as an accomplished furniture maker and craftsman.
I design furniture to be simple, honest and direct. I seek solid shapes and lines, subtle details and harmonious proportions; furniture that looks and feels right.
I love the process of giving concrete form to the wishes of my clients. It's wonderful to have the ability to stare at a blank piece of wood, imagine its form, and then bring it to life.
I work primarily in solid wood using a variety of traditional and contemporary construction methods. This ensures that each piece can withstand the rigors of normal use (and abuse). I also generally work with hand-applied finishes but realize that some furniture demands the use of modern lacquers.
Commissioning original furniture should be an exciting experience, one in which the client and craftsman come together in the creation of something personal and distinctive!
The commissioning process begins with a meeting to share and discuss ideas. We will consider the current physical environment and how the new piece will fit into the larger context of your own aesthetic sensibility. After this meeting, I will come back to you with sketches. Once we agree upon a direction, I do scaled drawings (as well as mock-ups and prototypes as needed). Upon approval of the drawings, work can begin!
This process can take weeks or months. It depends upon your project and my work load. I will always keep you informed as to how your piece is progressing.
I realize that designing and executing furniture becomes a very personal process for both of us. I want to ensure that upon delivering your piece, there are no surprises and that all you feel is peace of mind; knowing you received exactly what you expected and desired.