Young woodworkers make beautiful furniture
I’m in my mid-thirties, and, at least at times, I feel a bit out of place in the woodworking world because of my age. I know there are a lot of woodworkers around my age and younger, but I don’t get to meet many of them. I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t care for the older guys. I do. I won’t mention them by name (because I don’t want to call them old in public!), but some of my favorite woodworkers are guys who are at least 20 years older than me. However, I get a certain charge from meeting woodworkers my own age. It lets me know that this craft that I love has a promising future.
So I was overjoyed to meet Peter Aleksa and Jamie Cumming recently. They’re both around my age, are professional furniture makers, and do truly impressive work. I found both of them when searching the internet for custom furniture makers who use mahogany. (Read between the lines a bit here: I’m working on an upcoming article that will show some fantastic furniture made from mahogany.)
Peter Aleksa lives just up the road from me in Connecticut. He studied at the North Bennet Street School, and then worked a while for other people before striking out on his own. Along the way, he worked alongside a woodworker who had been trained in Germany before immigrating to the United States. Peter says that he learned a great deal about making a living at furniture making from him. I, for one, am glad he did. Take a look at Peter’s Web site, and I think you’ll agree.
Jamie Cumming lives at the opposite end of the furniture style specturum from Peter. In college, he was a sculpture student and learned metal working first. After college, he had numerous job. One job in particular, in a custom furniture shop, proved to be just the catalyst he needed. Jamie’s use of metal and wood in his furniture is awe inspiring. I love how the crisp lines and color of the metal compliment the woods he uses (African mahogany and Sepele among them). Check out his work at his site.
And, hey, if you’re a young woodworker, let me know. And post your work in the new gallery.
Inspired period. These two cabinets in quilted maple, with pink ivory inlay and pulls, show how well Peter Aleksa of Connecticut gives period aesthetics a contemporary feel.
Where two worlds meet. Jamie Cumming of Massachusetts shows that metal and wood can be brought together harmoniously.