Radical Conversions: Creating Woodshops in Surprising Spaces
When we put together the back cover and the shop gallery for the Tools & Shops issue this year (FWW 244), both of them featuring shops in spaces converted from other uses, we wound up with an unconscionable number of great photos on the cutting room floor. We decided to put those shots into this audio slide show to offer a fuller look into the shops presented in the magazine.
Running the gamut from 500 square feet to 65,000, and from an 1835 woolen mill on a stream in Connecticut to a 1950s egg-sorting shed on a chicken ranch in Northern California, the shops illustrate the vast diversity of spaces that, with some vision and renovation, will work just fine as a woodshop.
We’ve also included additional images of the furnituremakers and their work in the slideshow, along with narration describing the places and their proprietors. We hope you enjoy it.
When Johnny A. Williams decided to ditch his marketing job in Manhattan and pursue woodworking as a profession, he found an ideal shop space right behind his motehrs' house on an old apple orchard and poultry farm in Newtown, CT.
Jeff Johnson, a furniture maker and sculptor in Poughkeepsie New York, came upon a 1909 fire station, knocked on the door and asked if he could rent the vacant third floor. The owner wasn't looking for a renter however, but a buyer. Johnson ended up purchasing the building, and renovating the thrid floor for his home and shop. His brother, a glass artist, also lives and works on the other two floors.
"I always wanted to live and work in the same place," Andy Pekol says. For the last 35 years he's done just that in this 1835 mill built by a wool merchant on the Pomperaug River in Woodbury, CT.