Getting Down with Chair Design

We had our first DESIGN: Open House on Wednesday night and it was a great opening event. Kent Saunders and Jim Parker Jr. were our guest speakers. They were graduates two years ago from our Local Mastery Program and showed examples of their chair models, prototype chairs, and finally their completed chair designs. It’s always [...]

The Design Dance

The Design Dance is one that always begins simply. You sit down with yourself and start. You politely inquire if your Right Brain is available to go out and play. It is of course sitting there like a Chocolate Lab with a ball in its mouth and very little else on its brain. The Right [...]


This letter was sent to me by an old friend. Hi, Gary! May I give you a story, as promised? The story is told that if you were a young person in medieval France embarking on a spiritual quest, if you were fortunate you might meet up with someone older, perhaps a teacher, who would [...]

Borrowing My Chisel

This question comes from a former student. If a someone asks to borrow a prized chisel how would you politely decline the request? Paul F My reply: There are several options. Go Shakespearean: What, you egg! Shag haired villain of treachery! [and then with a smile] Begone or I shall have to smite you! Be [...]

The Work Bench

Stick with this fact: your bench is the center of the universe. When a client calls and asks, why won’t the door shut after we moved the piece? Or why do we need the shim under that cabinet leg? Or how come the drawer sticks? Your reply is always the same: My bench is the [...]


Investing is an act of pure faith these days. In these strange and difficult days, investing in anything takes nerves of steel and hardy determination. But I have a sure thing for you. A can’t miss proposition. There is a guaranteed return on this investment. [Now I’m sure you’ve heard that line before.] But I [...]


  We’re putting on a show! It’s the Resident Mastery show and I know that one of them is working real hard to get his piece done on time. Please come by the Studio from 4pm to 7pm, Saturday June 25th, and see the work of the present and some previous resident students. It’s sure [...]

Phil Lowe at the Studio

Phil Lowe is a walking compendium of 18th century furniture knowledge. He knows this stuff so well as it has been his life and work since his high school days. I visited Phil at his shop and school, the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts, in Quincy, Mass. a few years ago. It’s housed in a cool [...]


It was many years ago when my interest in this woodworking stuff began. In search for truth or at least some information, I would wander over to the Sears store just off Grand Avenue and go up to the second floor and stare at the wall of woodworking tools. I would stare, just stare at [...]

Pretty Good Woodworking

Well it has come to this. You’ve seen it all around you. You probably knew that the Studio couldn’t be far behind. I have to say now that it’s true. We’re dropping our values. The lessening of standards, the fascination with the quick and the cheap, yes these have infiltrated our walls as well. What’s [...]