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Craig Johnson

Furniture Maker

I began my woodworking experience carving shapes and patterns into my father's workbench, and to my parents' chagrin, the family piano, too. Since that time, I've engaged in a more disciplined study of cabinetmaking at Saint Paul College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, which laid the foundation for my career as a furniture maker.

I refined my skills at the Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking in Roberts Creek, BC, Canada, where I am a graduate of the Artisan, Craftsman and Journeyman programs. The teachings of Robert Van Norman and James Krenov resonated with me while attending Inside Passage. Robert's keen sense for guiding his students through the maze of possibilities, and JK's experience and wisdom delivered through his weekly phone lectures, allowed me to discover the profound effect a new way of working could have on my approach to this craft.

Woodworking and furniture making challenge me to balance overall composition with close attention to the most minute details. Every shape and line has intention. Every surface and edge has been touched and cared for. I strive to let the grain of the wood speak for itself, while juxtaposing more rigid geometries of the manmade world beside the natural aspects of the wood. So in a very personal way, each piece is a quiet celebration and reminder of the intimate relationship that exists between us and nature.

I feel that fine craft, and perhaps especially fine handmade furniture, has become an undervalued aspect of today's world. It is difficult to watch the wasteful, fast-paced world of manufactured disposable goods increasingly dominate people's lives. So, it is my ongoing desire to share my work with people in an effort to help them slow down, and take a moment to once again see, feel and appreciate the amazing connection that exists between wood, as an element of nature, and each person, as my furniture becomes an enduring part of their life.

Properly tuned hand tools, a deep appreciation for the chosen material, and a calm, sensitive approach to design and to the making itself, all combine to set the tone for my work.