A Mentor

I was uncertain at first how to conceptualize this for my mentor is neither a complex piece of furniture nor even a woodworker.


I spent many of my early years camping in forests with my father. Deep, among the trees, with just nature around and civilization seemed far away. Dad (now a fit 93) was an architect with a deep admiration for Frank Lloyd Wright and a love of wood and flowing lines. The house he designed for us was years ahead of it time in its use of space and proportion. He incorporated timbers from around the world, such as the Redwood dividing wall to the dining room, and the Ash floors. There were so many different timbers – Mahogany, Cedar, African Blackwood … the dining table was Pear (I saved the top when he decided to build a larger one, and it became my wife’s dressing table). He spoke of the grain with affection and I loved to look at it as if it were the art that hung on the walls that my mother collected. He taught me about joinery -  which is very interesting since he never picked up a tool in his life (except an axe to chop firewood). Dad did design furniture, though. His work had a strong feel of the Scandanavian – strong, clean simple  lines, with a relative lack of adornment, an emphasis on flow to displaying the timber.


I have a set of armchairs he designed. These were commissioned by a Swedish company in about 1930. Dad is fond of saying that they were built in Czechoslovakia and the last goods out of the country as WW II brought a halt to life.