David Fleming, Cabinetmaker

David Fleming, Cabinetmaker

The wilderness of northwest Alaska beckoned to me in 1976, after four years serving in the Air Force. Living on the coast and inland on the Kobuk River, over 300 miles from the nearest road, I lived for many years as a subsistence hunter, dog musher and bush pilot. I learned elemental woodworking by necessity, building boats and dog sleds as well as basic furniture.

James Krenov, 1920-2009

James Krenov, 1920-2009

In 1981 I discovered and was inspired by the work and writings of James Krenov. An internationally recognized master craftsman and teacher, Krenov espoused a simple, elegant approach to craft, tools and material that speaks very directly me. In 1984 it was my good fortune to be invited to attend Krenov’s Fine Woodworking Program at the College of the Redwoods on California’s north coast, where I studied with him for two years.

I enjoy finding creative solutions to problems of space and function. When the choice of woods and style of construction are added, as well as structural and other considerations, successfully designing and building a piece of furniture often becomes an exercise in patience and perserverance. It’s a satisfying challenge.

Some of the hallmarks of the program at the College of the Redwoods are attention to detail, meticulous hand work, and thoughtful design. I strive to include those qualities in every piece I make, whether large or small, expensive or economical.

I have lived and worked in Scottsdale, Arizona since 1993. In addition to making furniture I also teach woodworking, in the tradition of James Krenov and the College of the Redwoods, to individuals and small classes. It is a source of great pleasure to me to have the opportunity to pass along some of the skills and ideas that have served me in good stead for over 25 years.

Here is a brief synopsis and timeline:

2003 – 2006: Member of the Board of Trustees, The Furniture Society

1993 – present: Scottsdale, AZ; self-employed furniture maker, musician, web programmer

1984 – 1986: Ft. Bragg, CA; student, College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program

1976 – 1993: Kobuk River Valley, Alaska; subsistence hunter, bush pilot, dog musher, commercial fisherman

To inquire about commissioning work, please contact me by phone, email, or letter. References are available on request.

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