I started building furniture for myself as a teenager. It wasn’t out of some love of design or great driving need to create. It was purely out of necessity. We weren’t wealthy, but we had a small barn full of scrap wood and a smattering of tools. I made sailboats for the pond with tin can keels and paper sails and bedside tables that clipped onto the bunkbed I shared with my brothers, Eric and Haven.
Later, I got into building wooden boats. I started with an 18′ touring kayak, and I learned the value of a sharp hand plane. Then, onto canoes and baby cradles for friends.
Boats pulled me from necessity building into the realm of design. While living in Fairfax, Virginia, I met Jim Gutowski, a master cabinetmaker and owner of Creative Woodworks, in Woodbridge, VA. He hired me and promised to teach me everything he knew, under one condition: that when I left his employment, I left the state. He didn’t want to compete with me, nor I, him.
In January of 2002, my wife Angela and I moved back to Missouri and started WoodShop Artisans. Since then, our projects have taken us to Chicago, St Louis, Miami, San Antonio and all over the Midwest. I’ve been called and emailed with questions from as far away as Israel, South Africa and Ireland.
I started building furniture because I couldn’t afford anything else. Now I build furniture for others who won’t settle for anything less than the best. My name is Jason Frantz. I own WoodShop Artisans and I build custom furniture and cabinetry.
Furniture from 101 International Artists
By E Ashley Rooney
A reaction to the disposable, mass-produced furniture born of the Industrial Revolution, custom designed studio and bespoke furniture has been around for many decades. Those who appreciate handcrafted excellence find this furniture adds richness and texture to interior design. This is substantial furniture that provides a satisfying visual and tactile impact. The experienced artisans who produce these useful works of art add handcrafted beauty to every piece. One hundred one artisans' works are presented here from throughout the United States and around the world. Over 640 brilliant color photos reveal the unique and useful art objects each artisan creates to the readers. The engrossing text introduces readers to each of the artisans and their intentions. Readers will also find contact information for the artisans, their studios, and galleries. Three experts, Gary Inman, Thomas Throop, and Lewis Wexler, also contributed to the text.