Instructor: Peter Follansbee
Peter lives in Kingston, Massachusetts, in an early 19th-century house and works as a joiner at the Plimoth Plantation. It’s a quick trip from home to Plimoth Plantation, where Peter and his wife Maureen work. The Plantation is a living history museum that depicts and interprets the English and Wampanoag cultures in the early 1620s in Plymouth. “The bulk of what I do at the Plantation,” Peter says, “is joiner’s work, using riven green oak planed at the bench.”
"Joiner's work" refers to the way furniture is held together--some dovetails, some simple rabbet joints, secured with nails or wooden pegs and glue. He is steeped in the 17th century methods of woodworking with most work done using drawbored mortise-and-tenon, frame-and-panel. The only tools required are several planes, two chisels, a marking or mortise gauge, awl, square, mallet, and a boring tool--in other words, no modern machine tools.
Peter is also an expert carver. His style of carved decoration takes "inspiration from furniture and woodwork from both England and New England, spanning most of the seventeenth century. Geometric, floral and architectural elements combine to make up the designs. First-hand examinations of oak furniture in both public and private collections provide the material upon which my work is based, which I do in the traditional manner from riving oak logs and working the green wood with hand tools."
Peter is a sought after instructor and teaches classes nationally. He has many videos to his credit, including instructional DVDs produced for Lie-Neilson Toolworks, Preview of 17th Century New England Carving and Steve Branam's Peter Follansbee at SAPFM . His book, Make a Joint Stool from a Tree: An Introduction to 17th-century Joinery, was written jointly with Jennie Alexander.
Photos courtesy of Popular Woodworking-The Chris Schwarz Blog.
Examples of Work:
Click image to see larger view