From the Archives: MotC – Adrian McCurdy
Every two weeks, Jon Binzen and I dig up a Masters of the Craft slideshow to convert and bring to a whole new audience. Wait, that’s a little misleading. Jon’s the mastermind offensive guru who draws up the perfect play, coaches up the offensive line, and throws me the perfect play. I then take the ball and upload it to YouTube. Whatever, you get the idea.
When Jon showed me this slideshow I was taken back five years. I can’t remember where I was flying but I picked up a Fine Woodworking in the airport lobby. I had been woodworking for maybe a year and was well into my all-encompassing obsession. I thought that two hours trapped in a cylinder that magically flies through the air would be a good place to introduce myself to Fine Woodworking. I thumbed through issue #223 in awe. It was the annual Tools & Shops issue; Chris Gochnour was on the cover with a stunning tool cabinet behind him. Everything I saw and read was inspiring. Then I got to the back cover.
Adrian McCurdy’s work and techniques could easily have been from Mars for all I knew. Here was a gentle-looking man bashing a huge oak apart with wooden wedges, then turning it into furniture that was equal parts from the past and from the future. My beginning woodworker’s mind couldn’t really wrap around it. I found it absolutely insane. Who would do this? Why would you do this?
Now that I’m firmly entrenched in the craft, it’s easier for me to see that the work of Adrian McCurdy is as organic as you’re likely to see anytime soon. Split the wood, dry the wood, shape the wood. Take what the wood gives you. What I originally saw as futuristic, Martian curves, were created decades ago by the tree itself. In the same regard, the work of Adrian McCurdy might seem simple, but sometimes it takes a genius to imagine something so natural.
If Adrian McCurdy’s work seems too out there for you right now … try again in five years. I think you’ll be blown away.
For more information on Adrian and his work: