Thank you for wanting to learn more about my passion for Windsor Chair Making. Since there are many chairmakers, I am grateful that you stopped by to learn about Black Swamp Windsors. I'm an ordained parish pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who loves woodworking and enjoys chairmaking in his spare time. My congregation is St. Olaf Lutheran Church which is located in Devils Lake, ND.
My chairmaking shop is in the basement of my home in Devils Lake, ND. My wife, Barb, and I recently relocated to ND.
The large Devils Lake recreational area offers nationally acclaimed walleye fishing, a great variety of stores and restaraunts, and it serves as a resort area in Northeastern North Dakota. The area also is home to the Spirit Lake Reservation for the Lakota Tribe and the North Dakota National Guard's Camp Grafton.
This website is a celebration of my desire to make Windsor and Shaker chairs and I've been making them by hand since 2007. Before I began building chairs, I sought out the expertise of some of the most talented chairmakers in America. I was blessed to spend several weeks of hands on training at the Windsor Institute in Hampton, New Hampshire. Mike Dunbar who has made Windsor chairs for 30+ years, and has researched the historical development of the Windsor chair, has greatly influenced my appreciation for these chairs.
My family has woodworking in its blood, and I've been making quality furniture for several decades. My handmade furniture is treasured in the homes of family, parishioners, colleagues, and clients who have learned about me.
I spoke earlier about being a woodcarver. I have 34 years of experience using knives and chisels to shape designs in wood. During that time, I was blessed to have received hands on training in woodcarving from many instructors including Wayne Barton, Harley Refsal, and Hans Sandom. Before I made Windsor chairs, my focus was on building Shaker pieces, including chairs, along with Country style furniture.
As a chairmaker I value fine craftsmanship. If properly cared for, my chairs are made to last generations. Therefore, you have my assurance that I won't put my brand and our label on a chair that doesn't meet standards.
From 2007 to 2014, I received training in the art of making Windsor chairs. I was trained by Mike Dunbar and the staff at the Windsor Institute.
I am a member of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (www.sapfm.org).
Historic Fort Wayne, Indiana
Previously, Barb and I have partcipated as costumed re-enactors at the General Herkimer Home in Little Falls, NY, the Historic Fort Wayne Site in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and at the war of 1812 era site at the Fort Meigs Historical Site in Perrysburg, OH. Wherever we live, we enjoy demonstrating primitive woodworking techniques and Barb has demonstrated Scherenschnitte, a German art form whereby detailed profiles are hand cut from paper and then framed.
I serve as a Lutheran pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Devils Lake, ND.
Northwestern Ohio Woodworkers Guild
I recently joined a woodcarving group that meets in Devils Lake, ND. Previously, I was a member of the Northwest Ohio Woodworkers Guild in Bowling Green, Ohio.