F U R N I T U R E
P.O. Box 162 - Philo, CA 95466 - (707) 895-3606
www.mcfaddenfurniture.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
I am mostly a self-taught woodworker, learning from books and from trial and error. My first wife, Lisa, encouraged me to do what I wanted to do and without that support I might not have had the courage to follow my dream. In 1965 we were a young family living in the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco. The times were jubilant and the watchword was, "do your own thing." I was a year or two older than most of the young people who traveled to San Francisco in those days, and I knew what "my thing" was: I wanted to be a furniture maker. To have known that, in retrospect, was an advantage. I realized, to my dismay, that I would have to sacrifice my 1955 Austin Healy ( I did deliver one bookcase strapped to it,) and buy a station wagon. A succession of pickup trucks came later. During those years living in San Francisco, and later in Marin County, I made pine furniture and lots of kitchen and bath cabinets for Bay Area homes. When I had to resort to a regular job I found something in woodworking. I did have a night job briefly selling books at a store in Ghirardelli Square. My degree in English/Journalism came in handy then, as well as later when I applied for a teaching credential. Most of the time I was engaged in woodworking and more woodworking. When I was not busy doing commissions for clients I showed up at the fairs: Upper Grant Avenue in San Francisco, the Marin Art And Garden Show, the Sausalito Art Fair, the Rennaissance Fair.
I discovered the simple elegance of Shaker furniture very early on, and that has been the strongest design influence on my work. I also love the flowing sensual curves of Art Nouveau pieces, which at their best are quite simple. The Arts and Crafts Period, especially the work of Greene and Greene, has had a powerful effect on what I am doing now. I am working almost exclusively in American hardwoods, and I generally use two different woods in each of my pieces. I look for unique highly figured wood and use it for the tops and panels and drawer fronts. I surround these parts with frames of a contrasting wood. Sometimes I make thick bandsawed veneer and use it for bookmatched panels and tops.
I have lived here in the Anderson Valley for 30 years now, and I know where to find the most interesting wood; often it finds me. I like to imagine that my furniture will become somebody's heirloom. The dining room table that holds the memories of generations of good food, good wine and good conversation. The chair that children and grandchildren were rocked to sleep in. The chess table where friends became adversaries for a time to play the game well.
Please feel free to contact me with any question you may have. It goes without saying that anything that I design for you will go with the rest of the furniture in the house.