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For John Reed Fox, there are no shortcuts when it comes to building furniture. It's all about the process.
John Reed Fox was working as a car mechanic in Boston when James Krenov’s first book came out in 1976. Browsing in a bookstore on his lunch break one day, Fox came across a copy of A Cabinetmaker’s Notebook and was electrified by what he saw and what he read. Within a few years, Fox was making furniture full-time, and in the decades since he has devoted himself to the craft with extraordinary constancy and passion. Blending the inspiration he got from Krenov with lessons he learned from the crafts in Japan, his mother’s native country, he has created furniture in a distinctive style that values function above fashion and simplicity above flash.
Fox is widely admired for his designs, but just as respected for his craftsmanship. In the shop he built outside Boston he works with a blend of Japanese hand tools and Western machines. In this slide show he describes his designs, his career path, and the challenges that fuel his enduring love of the craft.
More Masters of the Craft Slideshows
• Jere Osgood: Modesty and Mastery• Ulrika Scriba’s Marquetry: Risk and Reward• Adrian McCurdy: Furniture Riven from the Log• Geoffrey Warner: Assembling a Life• Peter Shepard Turns the Page• Curve It Like König• Partners in Craft: Harold Wood and John O’Brien• Tool Chest with an Arts & Crafts Legacy• Adrian Potter: Thinking Furniture• Hank Gilpin: Exploring the American Forest• Doug Mooberry: Kinloch Woodworking• Michael Hurwitz: Planks into Poetry• Brad Smith: Story of a Stool• Hank Holzer and Judith Ames: Labor of Love• Michael Fortune: The Clever Chair• John Cameron: A Musician in the Woodshop• Allan Breed: The Past Recaptured• Kintaro Yazawa: Joint Wizardry• Grant Vaughan: Subtropical Virtuoso• William R. Robertson: Micro Maestro
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Really inspires me. Wonderful.
i'm 75 so i've discovered John too late too attempt to emulate him but this is the style i'd love to have found 20 yrs ago . does John have a book of his work or a catalogue . i'd love to just look at them .
I had the good fortune of taking a 2 week class from John (co-taught by Michael Puryear) many years ago. I first saw his work at the Philly Furniture Show in the late 1990's. His designs are beautiful in their simplicity and flawless in execution. His work has had a major influence on me and I feel fortunate to have had an opportunity to learn from him.
I have thought about making the same set of stack bookcases over and over again, and have actually built 4 of them. I felt slightly guilty for not "expanding" my woodworking skills, but no more. I quickly realized each bookcase was unique. I kept learning different methods and design changes that kept my mind lively. Each bookcase is different from the others and I have reached the point that the design has reached more subtle changes and don't care if they are noticed or not, its an inner thing anyway. I want my bookcases to resemble a beautiful Haiku.
as the sun goes down.
your work touches my soul
Kezurou-kai Mini, or NYC KEZ for short, is a gathering in which craftsmen and enthusiasts come together to celebrate Japanese style woodworking.
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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