Richard Laufer

"Woodworking to me is taking heavy, rough lumber—wood that might seem outwardly unappealing—and opening it up: cutting, shaping, carving, planing, sanding, and smoothing until that wood is transformed into what I think is a beautiful and useful object, while still keeping the essence of the wood alive. "

Richard Laufer doesn't need the pomp of exotic materials to heighten the natural virtue of his wood. He uses only Appalachian hardwoods that grow locally near his Maryland studio, usually cherry and black walnut. Every board used for his furniture is chosen with care, its grain selected to match the figure and pattern of the entire design.

Though he specializes in chairs—elegantly crafted with subtly curving backs, sculpted seats and shaped arms—Laufer constructs a full range of furniture by hand in his Maryland workshop. His designs expose the joinery of the pieces, and the simple hand-rubbed oil finish highlights the natural grain of the wood.