Russ Filbeck, Master Chairmaker
I am a woodworker, chairmaker, sailor, husband, father, grandfather, friend, mentor, teacher, and leader. These are but a few words that describe me.
Wood crafts teacher
Retired from the United States Navy's Submarine Service, I graduated from San Diego State University with Bachelor and Master degrees in Industrial Studies. These days, I'm an Associate Professor in the Cabinet and Furniture Technology Division at Palomar College located just north of San Diego in San Marcos, CA, where I teach beginning, intermediate, and advanced furnituremaking; beginning and advanced wood finishing; classic American chair Designs (Appalachian Ladder Back and Windsor chairs); wood bending; and tune-up and sharpening of woodworking tools. In my spare time, I also run a furniture repair and refinishing business (Wood It Be Beautiful!).
Each summer, I travel to Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky to harvest oak, walnut, and cherry logs, bringing them back to San Diego. My chairmaking students then have the fresh, riven (split) material needed to make the Windsor and Ladder Back chairs. I also harvest the hickory bark from fresh cut logs to weave the Ladder Back chair seats.
I believe in conserving and protecting our natural resources, going back to when I was a mere boy. Long before it was in vogue to do so, I recall my father telling me to "use it up, wear it out, or do without."
Trees are one of the most important, renewable natural resources on planet Earth. Currently, the human population is consuming, using, and wasting our natural resources at an unprecedented rate. This consumption and waste is generating water, earth, and atmospheric pollution that is now affecting, and will continue to affect, Earth's climate.