I create two styles of work: furniture inspired by objects, and furniture inspired by photographs that I take. Each mode of work serves a utilitarian purpose (with some exceptions), such as a coat rack or blanket chest.

The basic forms of Early American folk art serve as inspiration for my object-inspired work. I combine several construction methods, from mortise and tenon, metal work, and turning, to both hand and machine shaping. “Autumn” is in the form of an old wooden rake and serves a similar purpose to a Shaker pegboard.

I like to make casework pieces of furniture for the image inspired work. The minimalist forms act as frames for the imagery. My camera is the main tool for collecting images that form the basis for this work. I crop images and project an image before carving and staining it into the wood. A photograph of the Charles River in early spring led to the design of the “Charles River Blanket Chest.”

Duncan Gowdy

photo: Dean Powell