Pro Portfolio: Arts and Crafts Explorer
One woodworker's career path leads through a wide-ranging furniture style
Working in a one-man shop in Brunswick, Maine, Kevin Rodel is one of the leading furniture makers in the resurgence of the Arts and Crafts style in the U.S. Arts and Crafts originally had its heyday between 1890 and 1910, when its ideas were adopted by such diverse and illustrious designers as Gustav Stickley and Greene and Greene in the United States, Ernest Gimson and Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Great Britain, and Josef Hoffmann in Austria. Rodel discovered Arts and Crafts in the late 1980s and has been working in the style ever since.
Initially drawn to the Mission furniture of makers like Stickley and Charles Limbert, Rodel soon turned for inspiration to European Arts and Crafts designers such as Mackintosh and English architects C.F.A. Voysey and Hugh Baillie Scott. Rodel’s current work often combines influences from various Arts and Crafts designers along with some Japanese elements.
While maintaining a full schedule of making furniture, Rodel fits in several weeks of teaching every year, often at Maine’s Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. He also writes about his craft. He has contributed a number of articles to Fine Woodworking and he is the co-author of Arts and Crafts Furniture: a history of the movement, which was published by the Taunton Press in 2003.View PDF