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The Craft of Master Woodworkers

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified May 16, 2012 01:07 AM
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by Build LLC last modified May 15, 2012

BUILD celebrates master woodworkers.



[Image Source: Pacific Standard Time]

Last month, SPD took their show on the road to participate in the annual KBIS event, held in Chicago. The shop pumped out several stellar cabinet pieces to showcase, and it was a fantastic opportunity to get these out for public viewing. The dust may have settled from the road trip, but we’ve been thinking a lot about the artistry and craftsmanship of woodwork, and found ourselves with a desire to continue along this trajectory. So we came up with a list of a few impressive woodworkers to highlight for today’s post, and unsurprisingly, there’s a healthy representation of architectural training in the mix. 

George Nakashima  New Hope, PA
Part philosopher, part woodwoorker, and part architect, Nakashima operates around a grounded ethos in his woodwork: “Trees have a yearning to live again, perhaps to provide the beauty, strength and utility to serve man, even to become an object of great artistic worth.” 

Chest of Drawers

[Image Source: George Nakashima Woodworker]

Simon Coffee Table

[Image Source: George Nakashima Woodworker]

Conold Chair

[Image Source: George Nakashima Woodworker]

Evert Sodergren  Seattle, WA
With woodworking in his blood, Evert Sodergren’s years working at his father’s cabinet shop proved to be solid training ground. Sodergren’s craft is guided by his Three Element Principle: careful selection of wood, plan thoroughly through drawings, and know how to handle the mistakes.

Dot Table

[Image Source: Sodergren Furniture]

Sculpted Chair

[Image Source: Sodergren Furniture]

Flip Flop Table

[Image Source: Sodergren Furniture]

Judith Ames  Seattle, WA
It’s refreshing to see a well-established craftswoman in a field predominantly populated by men. (Surely there are hordes of others we missed.) Ames’ craft began with pursuits in art and architecture before eventually landing on woodwork.

Rolands Dining Table

[Image Source: Northwest Woodworkers Gallery]

Salmon and Kelp Cabinet

[Image Source: Northwest Woodworkers Gallery]

Cloud Chair

[Image Source: Northwest Woodworkers Gallery]

Sam Maloof (1916-2009)  Alta Loma, CA
No list would be complete without mentioning Sam Maloof. His unique designs are unmistakable and the legacy of his craft lives on in the work of the students who’ve apprenticed under him, our very own David Hentzel included.

String Chair

[Image Source: 37 Signals]

Cradle Cabinet

[Image Source:]


[Image Source: Modernica]

Stewart Wurtz  Seattle, WA
Academically trained in both a furniture-making and (briefly) architecture, Wurtz’s pieces often incorporate wood with metal, creating novel forms and bringing the material relationships to the surface.

Sycamore Coffee Table

[Image Source: Northwest Woodworkers Gallery]

Writing Desk

[Image Source: Northwest Woodworkers Gallery]

Dining Table

[Image Source: Northwest Woodworkers Gallery]

David Hentzel  Seattle, WA
At the time he joined SPD a few years back, David Hentzel had decades of woodworking under his  belt, and training under Maloof to boot. As master woodworker in charge of the day-to-day in our cabinet shop, he continues to hone his craft while producing beautiful modern cabinetry and furniture.

Ethan Bench

[Image Source: BUILD LLC]

Aidan Chair

[Image Source: BUILD LLC]

SPD Bench

[Image Source: BUILD LLC]

We’ve just barely scratched the surface with this short list. Let us know of any names that ought to be on our radar in the comments below.

Cheers, Team BUILD




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