Geoffrey Fitzwilliam, Designer/Craftsman/Artist

"These photos represent only a very small fraction of my work of the past thirty-seven years, but they are what I consider to be significant steps in my development as a craftsman. They are presented in chronological order and are updated periodically; please press reload/refresh for the most current offering."

Please scroll down to see the entire portfolio. Click on images to enlarge.

Guarneri del Jesu

I attended the Violin-Making School of America for three years. My experience there provided me with what is probably the most thorough grounding in hand tools available today.

Classical Guitar

Although I chose not to pursue instrument-making professionally, I still consider this experience to be the foundation for everything that follows in my study of woodworking and design.

hand carved

The reproduction table along the wall reflects my study of a Ming Dynasty classic. The dining table is a blend of these classical elements with the requirements of a modern dining table. The Ming Dynasty furniture-maker approached the craft with a humility borne of a profound sense of tradition, elaborating within existing themes and values, achieving an almost mystical sense of proportion and balance.

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Chinese Wardrobe

I am often asked to reproduce pieces built with various modifications to suit a specific need or purpose. The wardrobe pictured here was one of two built to hold large reference books and manuals. Unable to find Ming Dynasty reproduction hardware, I cast and assembled these pulls myself.

Wright Dining Set (1904)

A Prairie School table and chair design circa 1904, an original of which is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and displayed their as a milestone of twentieth century design.

Tall Wright Chairs

This client commissioned me to combine the elements of three different Prairie School chairs into one design which would allow a clean transition from their original Usonian dining table to the Victorian motif of the walls and ceiling of the dining room.

Wright Library Table

All the furniture in this photograph was based upon furniture designed in the Prairie School tradition, but for three different homes. The library desk in the center was based on a piece originally built for the Evans home; it is part of the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

architects desk, c.1880

A faithfully reproduced architect's desk, circa 1880, designed originally for working from a standing position, built of solid oak, with a leather panel insert. A wonderful opportunity to connect with the grand tradition of woodworking.

David Keith Mansion

The David Keith mansion, designed in 1897 by architect Alexander Hale, who borrowed heavily from Palladio in its concept, is situated on South Temple Street in Salt Lake City. The landmark was virtually gutted by a tragic fire on Christmas Eve, 1987. I was invited to restore the staircase up which the fire had traveled.

After

Although the damage to the staircase was extensive, the unexposed portion of the housed stringers under the treads and risers were undamaged, enabling me to use them as guides in relocating the new staircase.

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First Flight

The project required obtaining permission from the city to rebuild the original winding turns as they did not comply with our modern building code. Most of the work could be done with the aid of power tools, but there were many instances where the best or only approach demanded the use of traditional hand tools.

Second Floor Landing

The underside of the upper flight, comprised of tongue and groove bead board fanning out under the stairs, provides the lower flight with a wooden ceiling. In effect, giving the climber the sense climbing up through a tunnel of quarter-sawn white oak.

Flying Newel Post

The second flight begins with a winding corner built into an unsupported newell post and carries through the final quarter turn on a curved open stringer from the post to the third floor.

Third Floor Landing

This view from the third floor landing shows why it was necessary to hand carve the center section of the handrail from a rather large oak blank held up by the balusters through a twisting turn.

1904 Barrel Chair

The chair pictured here is based on a 1904 Prairie School design by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Darwin Martin House. It is arguably the most comfortable of all of his chairs.

Stickley bookcase

As "Craftsman" furniture has become very popular I have found myself building in the language unique to this style. This bookcase is a combination of various Craftsman themes and dimensioned to fit into a specific space. Although it is not a direct reproduction, it maintains the integrity of this wonderful style.

plans available

Stickley Morris chair

Also attributed to Craftsman movement is this "Morris" chair, first popularized by William Morris, one of the founding fathers of the English Arts & Crafts movement, precursor to the American Arts & Crafts movement.

MorrisCurved

This is my own modified version of the "Morris" chair pictured above. It is essentially the same chair with the arms bent back and down into a dynamic curve. It is an incredibly comfortable chair.

I asked to build three chairs in the "origami" style for the only home in Utah actually designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, a "Usonian" home located in a canyon just to the north of Salt Lake City.

The desk pictured here is a faithful reproduction completed recently of a desk originally built for Louis XVI of France. The original was given to George Washington by the French people.

Here we have a Craftsman style corner cabinet, built of quartersawn white oak. It is my understanding that the Stickley company has stopped building corner cabinets altogether, so I am looking to this as a possible niche for my company. This particular cabinet is based on a turn of the century design, but modified to fit the client's New York apartment.

This is my own Prairie School couch and Craftsman coffee table design. I think it's interesting to see how compatible the two styles really are. The couch is made of mahogany and the table is a variety of exotic woods including mahogany, cocabola, and zebrawood.

Based on a Craftsman design, the client was interested in making the armoire work with her existing molding, so we modified the crown molding at the top to create a wonderful transion piece with a clearly unique quality.

This pretty little table ended up in an upscale Washington D.C. dining room. Made of cherry and finished naturally, it should provide years of service.
Built using traditional methods for a collector, this clock was built specifically to house a two hundred year old movement and clock face.
This armoire was built specifically to hold a large screen TV, but the interior is removable, making it adaptable to, what I am sure will be, a variety of future uses.

Welcome, Contacting Geoffrey Fitzwilliam

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