William Brown is the owner of the Maine Coast Workshop, and a well-known 18th Century-style furniture maker. He splits his time between living in Camden, Maine and working as an anesthesiologist in Central Virginia. 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: