ECA+ Creative Member Directory
Mapping the Arts in Easthampton, Southampton, & Westhampton

William F. Fuhrmann

Custom made furniture

I feel fortunate to have attended Thaddeus Stevens trade school in Lancaster, PA after my junior year in high school and before college. We were not permitted to use any machinery for the first half year. Our first assignment was to produce a perfectly true board by using hand saws, planes, marking gauge, and straight edge. We then had to cut this board into smaller pieces, true them, and fashion all of the usual joints using the hand tools. I was devastated the first time I took my mortise and tenon joint into the instructor’s office and he threw it in the wastebasket and told me to try it again. I thought it was perfect, but he wanted it to “pop” when he pulled it apart. Despite the frustrations I experienced then I am forever grateful to have been pushed to perfect my hand woodworking skills. It goes without saying that I use machinery today, but as you can see in my work, I do a lot of handwork, and that is still the most gratifying. I design my own furniture, sometimes just before going to sleep or upon waking. I do however credit furniture makers of the past for inspiring my work, especially the simplicity of Shaker and Scandinavian design, as well as the flowing grace of Art Nouveau design.

Attended Stevens Trade School in Lancaster, PA for three years studying Carpentry and Cabinetmaking. Received B.S. (not what you think!) degree in Industrial Arts at Millersville State College, Millersville, PA. Received MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Taught at several high schools as well as the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts and Southern Illinois University in the art department.

In my distant past I was a recipient of a American Crafts Council grant for being named among the “Promising Young Artists” for that year. My jewelry has won several national awards. Most recently my furniture has won several awards at the Northeastern Woodworkers Association’s exhibit in Saratoga, NY. I now design and make furniture for my family.