Craig Vandall Stevens’ uncompromising attention to the smallest detail makes him the quintessential artisan’s artisan. Each component of the furniture he makes, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is carefully executed at the highest level — the fit of a hand carved door pull, the curve of a leg, the selection of each piece of component wood — each of dozens of key elements are thoughtfully crafted into his work. The enthusiast could spend hours studying and appreciating the scope of his work. In my recent visit to his studio, I did exactly that.
In this concise video profile, I introduce you to Mr. Stevens and his work. Craig, who trained with the widely respected teacher and artisan James Krenov, is a master cabinetmaker specializing in the creation of highly individualized, “one off”, collectible grade furniture. Much of this work is purposely small in scale, designed to bring focus to the details. The entire process, from initial sketches to final finish, can take months to complete.
Craig is a specialist in the use of Japanese hand tools. His interest in these tools permeates his thinking about craftsmanship and, as we can see in this video profile, becomes part of his work. I hope you enjoy this profile of Craig and his work. Keith (4.5 Minute Video Profile)
Nice video. I’ve appreciated the videos featuring CVS so far, so this was a good follow-up. I’m also a budding fan of Japanese tools.
As an aside, I have to say excellent job on the production side of these videos. Your editing is top-notch! This doesn’t feel like a video blog, but rather a woodworking TV show made available on the web.
Thanks Eric – I’m glad you are enjoying my vids. I’m sure enjoying the process of bringing them to you.
Very professional video, Keith. I like your style!
From Keith – Thanks. Coming from you, a professional graphic designer, you’ve made my day.
Outstanding craftsmanship in both the shop and the production. I would love to see a video on Craig taking one of those rough slabs in the yard and bringing it down to finished state.
I really loved this video. I remember reading James Krenov’s books many years ago and being impressed with his love of wood and the process of creating something fine from it. This video was just like being in Krenov’s shop. There was the pear wood, there were the wooden hand planes (although these were Japanese) and there was the cabinet on tall legs. What I especially liked about the video was the emphasis on quality, both of the woodworker (Craig Vandall Stevens – ed.) and of the video itself. It was both entertaining and educational.
I was very impressed not only with the video, but Craig’s (ed.) furniture building skills. I have started reading a few of James Krenov’s books – there is so much to learn. Eventually, I, like many people I’m guessing, want to be able to build this kind of furniture.
Great work on the video.
I’m a fan on Craig Stevens since I attended a week long class of his. I admire his philosophy and focus on detail rather than,as Craig says, just making more pieces.
“I want to do the best work that I can”, says it all. Inspiring to see a craftsman so dedicated to his craft.
I have taken week long classes under Craig and he is awesome. Very deliberate in his approach. I would highly suggest you do a feature on his marquetry.
For Mr Craig Stevens- It looked to me like the cabinet shown in the video was a solid, coopered door. Is this correct? Your work is very very nice… even the small box shows your great attention to detail. Thank you, it was a pleasure!
Keith’s Note: My recollection is that Craig coopered the door.
If you ever find yourself in Maine please plan a visit to my studio. You can see my work at http://www.symmetryinwood.net. Gordon R. Merrick
Keith’s Note: Very nice work!