Tim Coleman makes custom furniture in the shop he built a few paces from his house in Shelburne, Mass. He’s run a one-man shop for 25 years now, since apprenticing in Seattle with Curt Minier and studying at the College of the Redwoods under James Krenov in the 1980s. Coleman’s manuscripts are as well-crafted as his cabinets, betraying his college major in creative writing at St. Lawrence University.
My passion for designing and creating began nearly fifty years ago. As a child I was most content in my basement workshop, using whatever tools and materials were at hand as I learned how to take ideas and make them real. In my twenties I studied with James Krenov at the College of the Redwoods where I further developed my skills and garnered a deep appreciation for wood and all its subtleties under the guidance of the master.
While the form and function of my furniture is always at the forefront, the surfaces are often embellished with patterns and textures. Largely inspired by nature, but also by cultures throughout the world, I have developed my own pattern language which I express using low relief carving, marquetry, embossing with steel stamps and parquetry with thick veneer tiles. The patterns and textures create a lively interplay with the form of the pieces, bringing forth objects which straddle the line between furniture and sculpture.
My furniture has been described as poetic, sculptural and exquisitely detailed. For me, it represents a passionate exploration of ideas, material and process, and a way to express the richness I see in the material and natural world every day.