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. Barclay Fine Woodworking .
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About My Work .

My designs are original, sometimes inspired by the work of others but never copied. I strive to never let the tools and methods used dominate the design. For many years I had no power tools because I wanted to avoid the temptation to compromise the design to favor the tool. I believed that if I started out with a table saw everything I built would look like the table saw had designed it. Over the years I have yielded to the productivity advantages of the band saw, jointer/planer, and router but I work very hard to minimize the influence of the tools and process on the design. (I still don't own a table saw.)

My designs give attention to balancing form, function, texture, and material.


Even purely functional pieces must still be aesthetically pleasing, balanced, and artistic. The form of the piece and the material should draw you in to touch it. I use the sense of touch extensively in creating a piece; it is not finished until it feels right. Consequently, you will enjoy the piece because of the way it feels.


The function of a pure art piece is to make you feel something or for the artist to express something. A purely functional piece must be designed to efficiently perform that function while still being, as much as possible, a work of art.  In short, my functional pieces, which are all I really do, must always be artistically designed and executed.  Function need not trump art.


When you touch a piece, what you feel should be the wood and the details of the form not the protective coating. My pieces are finished with only a few coats of tung oil finish so that you will enjoy the natural feel of the wood.


The qualities of the wood used must not overpower the other elements of design and the proper balance is often difficult to achieve. I cut most of the domestic lumber I use from found trees with my chain saw mill. For woods like walnut, I find the color of my air-dried lumber far superior to kiln dried wood. I have always found a great sense of accomplishment in making something from a tree I cut myself, although I must admit that this practice began with me being simply too cheap to buy the wood I needed for furniture for our home.

In the end I just love creating useful and beautiful things from wood. I hope you will enjoy owning them.

David Barclay

. David Barclay

David Barclay Carving a Wishbone Clock Frame

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