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My name is Michael Adams, and I am a woodworker. After many years of sitting at a computer producing nothing but bytes and bits, I began making things with my hands that I could share with others. I come from a family of machinists and die sinkers. My father’s Brown & Sharpe lathe in the basement and mechanic’s tools galore gave me the freedom to be creative, take things apart, and modify them throughout my childhood.  Woodcraft is now a therapeutic hobby and part time job.

 

20 years ago I began my own tool collection and started building utilitarian furniture. A cradle for our first son, end tables, hope chests for my nieces, holiday gifts, and an oak craftsman spindle bed for our first house.

 

Then I received the divine gift of a guided tour of the Gamble House in Pasadena. The home, one of the ‘ultimate bungalows’ designed by the Greene brothers and built by the Hall brothers in the early 1900s, represents an almost incomprehensible attention to detail, joinery, dimension, color, and texture. Nearly all of my furniture projects for the last three years has been in the Greene & Greene style. The combination of American craftsman with Asian influence is manifested by open joinery, soft lines, and mahogany instead of oak. It is elegant without pretension. It rarely goes out of style.

 

My favorite accomplishment so far is a close reproduction of the Gamble House entry table that sits in our dining room. The mahogany top is inlaid with a cherry slab, square ebony splines and plugs and handmade ebony drawer runners and mahogany pulls.

 

I prefer using wood that is figured and richly colored and include mahogany, bubinga, padauk, African ebony, sycamore, spalted maple, and walnut. Figured, spalted, and crotch wood can be challenging to work with because the grain is rarely predictable, but the end result makes the piece unique and one of a kind. I offer my clients a wide choice of wood samples, and many make their decision based on their home furnishings and style. One recent client had a gorgeous wood floor highlighted with round walnut plugs, and we incorporated the dark plugs in their new white oak tables, tying in the furniture with the floor.

 

The first coat of a finish can be the most dramatic process. All of the wood selection, sanding, and preparation come together for the first time. Finishes are usually clear oils which enhance the grain and colors of the natural wood. Tung oil, poly mixes, and buffed beeswax are traditional and, at times, difficult.

 

All the hard work is worth it when a client helps design their perfect item, I find the right wood and accessories, the finish comes out correctly, and it’s delivered it to someone who will enjoy it and use it daily for years to come.

 

I make “art for your daily life”. What can I make for you?

 

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Art For Your Daily Life