William Brown

William Brown is the owner of the Maine Coast Workshop, and an 18th Century-style furniture maker. Here's his furniture and carving website:  LineAndBerry.com

 

Here's a tour of his Virginia workshop:

 

He grew up on a farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he apprenticed in the workshop of E. Townsend Moore. During this time he gained a love of fine Pennsylvania-made furniture from the 18th century.

William’s career path took him into the medical field, where he became a successful anesthesiologist, but all the time he continued to build high-end furniture to sell to clients and to beautify his own home. William has been building furniture for over 40 years, which is obvious in the details of his immaculate furniture. Here's a video that highlights some of William's furniture:

William’s furniture has won multiple awards, has been featured in prominent publications, and his reproduction pieces have been sent to high-end galleries, and to heritage sites like James Madison’s Montpelier and the Jamestown settlement. William has especially become well-known as a leading authority on reproducing carved & gold-leafed “Bellamy Eagles”, made famous by 19th century wood carver, Edward Halley Bellamy, from Kittery, Maine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William does make exact replicas of furniture, when requested by museums or clients, but most of his work uses historical furniture for inspiration, and then he adds his own creative touches and experimentation. He does extensive research and design work before making each meticulous furniture piece. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At one point in time William extensively built Windsor chairs for clients, including replicas of a couple of James & Molly Madison’s chairs for the museum at their Montpelier home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William uses a mix of hand tools and power tools when building his furniture. He hanplanes & scrapes furniture surfaces, and cuts dovetails and mortise & tenon joints by hand. Most of his furniture is finished with natural oils and shellac, with hand rubbed wax to top them off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has long been William's dream to start and run a traditional woodworking school in his charming town of Camden, Maine, which he is now thrilled to share with his students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a slideshow of some of William's pieces: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Francis Brown  

Fine Furniture Maker & Carver

Forest, VA, Camden, ME

Dei.gratia123@gmail.com

434-907-5427

 

Exhibitions:  Messler Gallery juried exhibition, Rockport, Maine – “Maine Wood” 2018,  Jan. 2020

                       Virginia Academy Center of the Arts, Lynchburg, VA; "The Art of Craftsmanship - A Woodworker's 

                              Perspective”,  Summer 2019                                                                                   

                     Society of Period Furniture Makers exhibit – Thaddeus Stevens Academy, Lancaster, PA, 2016

                     NY City Select Artists Exhibit – ‘First in Show’ – Bellamy Eagle carving, 2008

                     Dining room furniture made for Dolley and James Madison’s ‘Montpelior’ estate, Orange, VA – 2003

                     Historic Jamestown, VA – 2002, Built a ca.1760 ‘Strawbery Banke’ Dory - currently tied to the ‘Susan B.                                             Constant’ in Jamestown Harbour                                                           

                     Curtis Gallery exhibitor – Camden, Maine

                     Exhibitor, The Windsor Chairmakers, Lincolnville, ME

                                        

   Awards:   International Veneer Challenge 2018 - Honorable Mention, Furniture :  “Federal Game Table”

                        Popular Woodworking Editor’s Choice award – 2017:  ‘Sheraton Tea Caddy’

                        Popular Woodworking Excellence Award – First place, 2015; ‘Chester County Bible Box’

                        ‘Best in Wood’ International Competition – Winner, Woodworking Network, Chicago, 2018

                        Early American Life – Awarded ‘Top 20 Master Craftsman’ in two categories: Carving and Furniture; 2018,                                        2019, 2020, 2021

                       Horton Brasses furniture competition – winner 2018, 2019, 2020

 

   Features:  Fine Woodworking Magazine Gallery – William & Mary Chest-on-frame, 2018

                       Woodwork Magazine – Natural windsor chair, 2002

                       Feature article on windsor chairmaking – “Chairman of the Board”; Richmond Times Dispatch, 2004

                       Article for Highland Woodworking Magazine:  ‘Eagle Carving’  2016

                       Fine Woodworking Magazine – Making Federal Tables; article upcoming in 2020

                       Fine Woodworking Magazine – Making Federal Tables; article upcoming in 2020

                      Period Furniture (Society of American Period Furniture Makers annual journal), article: 

                                         “Making a Serpentine Drawer”, 2020

                     

                     SAPFM "Pins and Tails" online magazine: 'Honing for Woodworking & Carving Tools'; upcoming  article

                     Popular Woodworking Magazine - Article on my ‘Maine Coast Workshop’ woodworking & carving classes,

                                      May, 2020

                     Woodshop News – Article on my ‘Maine Coast Workshop’ classes, April 2020

 

Social media:  

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/williamfrancisbrown/
Furniture & Carving Website:    www.LineAndBerry.com

Maine Coast Workshop classes:  Maine Coast Workshop | Woodworking School

Facebook:  (20+) Wm Brown | Facebook
Solo guitar:   https://www.youtube.com/c/WilliamBrownGuitar

 

Biographical information:

   My furniture is hand made in rural Virginia and in the coastal village of Camden, Maine. 

   I grew up on a tree farm in Chester County, PA  (Willistown Township) and served a two year apprenticeship with E. Townsend Moore, a cabinetmaker who had been a curator at Dupont's Wintertur Estate and Museum outside Wilmington, Delaware.  He had learned from Robert Treat Hogg who was part of the two centuries long legacy of Chester County fine furniture makers.   The makers of Chester County developed a unique style that stemmed largely from the 17th century Welsh Quaker settlers.  Certain design features that I incorporate  include ‘line-and-berry’ holly inlay, framed panels, spice and Bible boxes, and use of local Chester Co. hardwoods.  The woods include the abundant Cherry, Maple, and Walnut which I use almost exclusively.  The Philadelphia makers, two hours carriage ride to the East, were producing some of the finest furniture in the world.  That tradition has been another strong influence on my work. 

        I've been making and learning about period furniture for over 30 years.  I have taken courses at 'The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship' in Rockport, ME and with Chuck Bender in Coventry, PA. My pieces have been selected for museums and historic sites, including James Madison's Montpelior and Historic Jamestown.  I have won numerous international competitions and exhibit in galleries on the East Coast..
  Rather than exact precise duplications, I prefer to make what I call 'historically informed' pieces.  Unless requested by a museum, my furniture incorporates design elements and joinery inspired by historic precedents.  I have developed my own line-and-berry designs for example.  I love to scour museum archives and study originals for ideas:  patterns, moldings, inlay designs, proportions, etc.  I enjoy sketching details of the Chester County pieces I see in homes and exhibits in my childhood home area.  A trained eye is critical to how I design a piece; the result is inspired by 18th century ideas but will be truly one of a kind.

   

I have begun teaching students at my Maine Coast Workshop in the historic seaside village of Camden, Maine, so that these arts will not be lost to our technical age.  In 2020 I began work on this long time dream: starting a woodworking and traditional arts school.  My goal is to bring young people (and students of all ages), who often have little opportunity to work creatively with their hands, opportunities to learn from world class masters. 

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MAINE COAST WORKSHOP

MON - FRI:  9am - 5pm

SATURDAY:   9am - 5pm

SUNDAY:   9am - 5pm

Tutorials, tips, inspiration for carvers and woodworkers on my active Instagram here

A:   27 High St.

Camden, Maine 04843

T:   (434) 907-5427

E:  dei.gratia123@gmail.com

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See William's (owner) work here
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