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Russ Filbeck, Master Chairmaker

Pages in this Story:
Minimizing waste and designing for comfort
Russ Filbeck
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Russ' wife thought it would
be rude to gift the President
and not the First Lady, so
Russ also made these
Shaker boxes for
Rosalynn Carter.
Russ Filbeck
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Russ Filbeck
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Minimizing waste and designing for comfort

I choose to work in a way that minimizes waste and pollution. Yet, I also want to make things that are comfortable and functional. I strive to make things that will last for generations to come, which requires a clear understanding of wood movement caused by humidity changes. It also demands precise joinery to endure many decades of use. Esthetics and beauty are also necessary within the design elements.

I view craftsmanship as the ability to transform raw materials into beautiful, comfortable and functional products. The process includes using the simplest of tools as well as modern technology. As a craftsman, I strive to teach and keep the skills and discoveries of our forefathers alive. I know the pieces that I make today will be heirlooms of tomorrow.

--Russ Filbeck
San Diego, CA

See photos of more of Russ' chairs and learn more about his visit with fellow chairmaker Jimmy Carter at Russ' Website. You can also learn how to make and apply Russ' prize-winning finish, and how to steam-bend wood from his articles that have appeared in WOOD magazine.


Comments (4)
Ken Ewald wrote:

Wonderful work and kudos on being a true conservationist - one who actually cares about our world.

11/26/2009 10:14:02 AM Report Abuse
econnary wrote:

Very impressive work.

11/25/2009 12:38:18 PM Report Abuse
dwaded3 wrote:

Russ is a fantastic fellow. I was one of his students, fifteen years ago.

11/25/2009 10:54:09 AM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

Nice design and great photo of two men who I admire. Jim Sykes - Seattle.

11/25/2009 10:20:50 AM Report Abuse

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