If you’re not on here, yup, it very much means I think very little of you. Or not at all. C’mon, people, it means I just forgot! I hope to help create a vast, dense network of makers supporting other makers. Here are a bunch of people, businesses, companies, toolmakers, etc that I really enjoy:
And please keep checking back, as I’ve decided to keep this as a running list!
Lost Art Press :::: Fantastic books on woodworking, design, tools, woodworkers themselves. Not only is their content spot on, but they really take their time with what they create, and that shows in the books themselves. They’re beautiful and very well made.
Mortise & Tenon Magazine :::: Great compilation of articles and interviews focused on restoration and history of period furniture. Again, emphasis has been placed on the photographs and materials used just as much as the content. Started by Josh Klein, a restorer here in Maine.
Amy Umbel :::: She makes fantastic spoons and carved bowls. I absolutely LOVE her colors and patterns. She has an eye for it, and moves beyond what most people tend to do for decoration. You can tell what she is doing is not just a repeat of things she’s seen, but her interpretation of them, which I think goes very much unnoticed and unappreciated in most instances. I also think she has a great take on the green woodworking world, and its refreshing to have an open mind in that realm with me. Too many stodgy, old white dudes thinking the same shit unwilling to move an inch – how …typical.
Texas Heritage Woodworks :::: Leather aprons, super sturdy waxed canvas tool rolls, moxon vise hardware kits, and a great guy to boot. He’s a heavy-hitter on Instagram, where you can see him do his woodworking/leather thing alongside some farmer/rancher stuff.
Freddy Roman :::: I met Freddy at a tool event at Phil Lowe’s school, The Furniture Institute of Massachusetts in Beverly, MA. His work centers around restoration/conservation, banding and inlay – basically all the things I know the least about. He went to Phil’s school and now is off to the races. Beyond being incredibly talented, Freddy was just one of those guys whose actions spoke very loudly. Humble, willing to learn (he heard about a new sharpening technique that he had yet to try and even though I’m quite certain 80% of the demo he saw was something he already knew, he was rapt because he knew there was 20% he didn’t. There was absolutely no ego there, and THATS what got my attention. He didn’t care what anyone thought he should or shouldn’t know, he wanted to hear about anything that was new to him, no matter how rudimentary it could have been to someone else.) This is the kind of guy I want to keep tabs on, because thats the kind of mentality that needs to be fostered in this community and in circles beyond woodworking. Its not just techniques and execution that interest me, its how people convey new information, receive it, and create a solid network of individuals just by being considerate, decent human beings. You did, in fact, make quite the impression, Freddy 😉
Lie-Nielsen Toolworks :::: Yes, I happen to work for this company. But I also happen to like them and their tools. Come out to one of our Hand Tool Events hosted by venues all over the country for a chance to get your mitts on some of these amazing tools. Some are available for purchase at the show, or you can order straight from us while at the show. And there’s even a chance you could meet me! What an incentive….
Chara Dow :::: She lives in Rochester, NY and makes fantastic spoons and rustic furniture. Like many of the people on this list, I found her through Instagram. Don’t know her personally, but she seems pretty rad. I also just realized we both have similar websites. Birds of a feather!
Country Workshops :::: Drew and Louise Langsner run this amazing little place down in North Carolina. I bought some of my first green woodworking tools from them, having no idea that they were such stalwarts of the craft. But I knew instantly when I saw what tools they were offering that they were the real deal. I had been searching feverishly for something that looked like it was well made and would serve me for years. Their line-up of tools and workshops is top-notch and I highly recommend checking them out.
Michigan Sloyd :::: A recent discovery on Instagram. Making great, handcarved bowls in the Scandinavian traditional style. Really nice, clean lines in a lot of them. Yes, its another bowl (and spoon) carver, and yes, I recommend that you check it out.
Peter Follansbee :::: Very well known spoon and bowl carver. He is also known for 17th century carving and furniture. Great guy, too. He was the one who taught me how to carve bowls.
Jogge Sundqvist :::: Also very well known because his name is pretty much synonymous with sloyd work. His father is also very, very well known and he even made a video about him, which is excellent. Jogge makes beautiful spoons, bowls, stools, and other wood art. I very much like the playfulness and use of color in his work. I feel that most Americans pursuing sloyd craft miss this part, and Jogge embodies it completely. I absolutely love the liveliness he brings to the craft – he captures the heart of it, from my perspective.
Anne of All Trades/Anne Briggs :::: A friend and coworker who also does the Lie-Nielsen shows. We connected first over Instagram, where she also has quite a following, and then we met when she came onboard the LN Event Staff. She started the Community Tool Chest, which is comprised of a great variety of quality tools from well respected and talented toolmakers. She then plans to donate the tools to aspiring woodworkers. She’s pretty great at creating community and supporting new woodworkers looking to get into the craft.
Nic Westermann :::: Unreal talented Welsh blacksmith who can get the edges of his tools so scary sharp I almost don’t want to use them. Almost. I own one of his adzes and I absolutely cherish it. He also sells straight knives, twca cams, and other carving tools.
Peter Galbert :::: Talk about the complete package. He has a great mind for design, is brilliant in execution, and just put a wonderful book out last year called Chairmaker’s Notebook. The drawings are enough to make it worth it, but the content is detailed, thoughtful, and broken down into process, tools, and wood selection. I will be referencing this book, undoubtedly, for years to come. He also designed the Drawsharp device for sharpening drawknives. I’ve yet to find a better way to get a consistent edge on a drawknife, especially a curved one.
Jim Tolpin/George Walker :::: They frequently get mentioned together, and I wonder if this bothers them, but hey, they were the ones that wrote books together repeatedly. And great books at that -they focus on design with simple ratios and proportions and how that relates to woodworking projects, columns, the human body, and architecture. They also just started a great new blog and have plans to release some sort of amazing looking stop-motion animation series about woodworking. I’ve only seen the preview, but it reminds me of 70’s Sesame Street, meaning thats its rad as all get-out. Please do yourself a very big favor and check out their website and books.
Sterling Toolworks :::: Another small company making excellent tools and marking devices. He has some beautiful stainless steel french curves that I’ve been eyeballing, a plane hammer with both a wooden and brass face, dovetail/saddle markers, a dovetail square among other things. Great stuff.
Blue Spruce Tools :::: The chisels, oh, the chisels. And I own one of their insanely great resin-infused wooden mallets. And I love it. Get one.
Wheeler Munroe :::: Based down in North Carolina, Wheeler is also someone I found on Instagram. She makes some of the most badass tool belts I’ve ever seen. They contour to the hip and don’t have the bulkiness of typical work belts. Plus she can make them custom to your needs. She also makes belts, does some furniture work and upholstery, and her farm is the largest producer of maple syrup in North Carolina. Yeah, I hear ya, she seems pretty fucking boring and devoid of talent. Her name is Wheeler for fuck’s sake.
Red Ants Pants :::: I’ve mentioned this company in a previous post, but they definitely deserve another mention. If any of you out there (they fit men, too, but are designed with women in mind) have searched and searched for women’s work pants that are durable and actually fit (no webbed crotches here!!!!), then look no further. When I called to ask about sizing, it took me a few minutes of chatting to realize I was talking to the founder of the company. Call them, they give a shit.
Claire Minihan :::: Claire spent some time with chairmaker Peter Galbert, and now makes amazing travishers that he designed. I have yet to own one, but I did get to try one out at the Lie-Nielsen Open House last year and have been eye-balling it ever since.