Monday, September 22, 2008

Furniture I Love: Matthew Werner Edition

One of the great things about writing this blog is that I get to meet (at least through email) so many incredible woodworkers. Matthew Werner stumbled upon my blog at some point and dropped me a line. Sometimes when I’m wondering whether I should even be writing a blog in the first place (and believe me, there are times when I wonder!), something like that happens and makes it all worth it.

So I’m pleased to feature the work of Matthew Werner, who lives in Santa Cruz, CA, and studied under James Krenov. In his work, it seems like there could be no other proportions than the ones he presents. Of course, that level of gracefulness is the result of dozens of decisions – small and large – that go into making fine furniture. Any one of them in the wrong direction could doom the piece to being clunky or flimsy. But through skill and experience, Matthew manages to make the right decision every time.

I’m especially fond of this display cabinet. The piece itself is high-wire act. Since you can see inside the piece from almost any angle, there’s no place to hide mistakes or shortcuts. But then he adds just the right detail in just the right spot, from the amazing marquetry of the tropical flowers to the subtle brass inlay at the taper of the legs.

I also love the balance of the Chickadee Music Stand.

In this detail shot of his Chickadee Bed, the spalted maple background for the marquetry seems to be its own artistic vision of the sky.

I encourage you to read Matthew’s bio in which he describes his technique for doing marquetry and lists his goals as integrity and artistry. For more of Matthew Werner’s inspiring work, see his website at

Photos by Paul Titangos.

1 Comment:

paula said...

This furniture is museum quality. the detail of the marquetry is incredible. The pieces are all marvels to see. Find this man's gallery and go there!