Timothy Coleman

Artist Statement

My passion for designing and creating began over forty years ago. Other kids were playing Little League baseball, and I was busy in my basement workshop, using whatever tools and materials were at hand, learning how to take ideas and make them real.

A decade later I was an apprentice to Seattle furniture maker, Curt Minier, and was introduced to the dynamic world of studio furniture. I went on to train for two years at the College of the Redwoods with renowned maker and author, James Krenov. I returned to New England in 1989 and set up my first independent studio in western Massachusetts.

I gather ideas from a broad spectrum – sculpture, architecture, textiles, nature, and contemporary and historical furniture. I pay attention to proportion and structure, texture, pattern and color, and record things in photographs, sketches and memory. Ideas emerge and evolve during the building process, bringing forth unique pieces that straddle the line between furniture and sculpture.

My works are often embellished with patterns inspired by cultures throughout the world – African, Persian, Indian, Italian, Chinese and Korean among them. These influences become part of my own pattern language, and are expressed through the use of low relief carving, marquetry, embossing and thick veneer tiles. The patterns interact with the form and structure of the piece, adding depth, texture, complexity, and meaning.

My furniture has been described as poetic, sculptural and exquisitely detailed. For me, it is a constant exploration and engagement with ideas and process, and a way to express the richness I see in the material and natural world every day.

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