by George R. Walker
I first stumbled onto Dan Mosheim about six years ago through his eclectic blog, “Dorset Custom Furniture – A Woodworkers Photo Journal” (dorsetcustomfurniture.blogspot.com).
It’s primarily about building and designing furniture, but it’s also a peek into Dan’s interest in art and literature, his forays into pottery, along with a bit of life in rural Vermont with wild turkeys strutting in the back garden and trout fishermen in local streams.
Dan’s interests are as varied as the furniture coming out of his shop, and it’s obvious that his work is infused with this genuine appreciation for life. A flock of colorful mallard ducks landing in his backyard pond may inspire the decorative inlay for a table or bed.
For much of history, what elevated an artisan was the ability to design and build at a very high level. It was assumed that an artisan who could build a library building or a library table was also capable of designing it.
Our word “architect” comes from the Greek word “architekton,” a combination of the root “archi” (chief), and “tekton” (builder). For more than three decades, Dan has been the embodiment of that. Yet Dan is not some throwback. Although his designs are informed by an appreciation for woodworking tradition, he’s firmly rooted in the present, not only in his designs, but also in the technology to which he avails himself.
When it comes to technology, folks tend to line up in two different camps. There are traditionalists who want to seal the old ways in amber, and the futurists who embrace technology and often jettison the past. Dan sidesteps both and instead embraces the best of tradition while remaining open to new ideas.
Blog: Read Dan Mosheim’s blog.
Blog: Read more from George R. Walker on his Design Matters blog.
In Our Store: “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design” and “Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design: Moldings,” George R. Walker’s DVDs.
From the October 2015 issue