Mark Whitley

I approach furniture as functional pieces of art. As a studio craftsman, my primary focus is directed on the holistic aesthetics of the piece: the way each piece of wood is joined in harmony with the others, the relationship of the top with the back, the sides with the shelves, and the doors with the whole of the piece. Curves and different species of wood are used in a sparingly and thoughtfully intentional manner so as to enhance the feel of a piece of furniture and keep with the integrity of the design.

Having found inspiration from craftsmen such Garry Knox Bennett and Sam Maloof, in 2004, I read a book called The Impractical Cabinetmaker by James Krenov (Linden 1999). It was an event that would forever change the way I approached work, and the way I perceived furniture design and building.

Number 1

The little cabinet on the left was number one. It started with some interesting curly cherry and avodire. This was the first time I truly paid attention to the way glass was divided – taking the shelf into consideration – and the first time I moved to traditional oil finishes. I am proud of the many pieces I built before this little cabinet, but I have since become an entirely different woodworker. Suddenly my shop is a studio, and my work is called art.

Tall Walnut Cabinet

Tall Walnut Cabinet

Barren County Coffee Table

Barren County Coffee Table

Crescent Chair