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Phillip Keefe
Furniture Designer, Woodworker

I became familiar with the wood shop long before I was aware of what took place in one. My family lived in rural Indiana, on a wooded lot big enough to activate the imagination of almost any child. We had a wood shop on our property that my dad used to build Queen Anne replicas. I would sit by the rusty wood-burning stove, watching my dad navigate from one machine to the next, from tool to sandpaper to oil and brush. His movements were beautiful and stayed with me long after my family moved from that house. 

Shortly after college my dad built a small workbench for me (the very bench I use today). I had been casually woodworking for several years when I first came across a Sam Maloof exhibit, curated by SOFA Chicago. His furniture was like nothing I'd seen before, especially in rural Indiana. The contours were wild. Somehow Sam managed to find the perfect balance between his vision and the unique aesthetic of each piece of wood. This balance is the guiding principal of my work.

Each piece of furniture or houseware is designed and hand built in Avondale, a neighborhood in Chicago's north side. Every aspect of the building process is guided by traditional woodworking methods. The results are heirloom pieces meant to be enjoyed for many generations. 

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