By , 1 August, 2010, 2 Comments

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I started building furniture for myself as a teenager.  It wasn’t out of some love of design or great driving need to create.  It was purely out of necessity.  We weren’t wealthy, but we had a barn and a few tools and some scraps of wood.  I made sailboats for the pond with tin can keels and paper sails and bedside tables that clipped onto the bunkbed I shared with my brother, Haven.

Later, I got into building wooden boats.  I started with an 18′ touring kayak, and I learned the value of a sharp hand plane.  Then, onto canoes and baby cradles for friends.

Boats pulled me from necessity building into the realm of design.  Eventually I found myself living in Fairfax, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC.  There I met Jim Gutowski, a master cabinetmaker and owner of Creative Woodworks, in Woodbridge, VA.  He hired me and promised to teach me everything he knew, under one condition: that when I left his employment, I left the state.  He didn’t want to compete with me, and I was happy to comply.

In January of 2002, my wife Angela and I moved back to Missouri and started WoodShop Artisans.  Since then, our projects have taken us to Chicago, St Louis, Miami, San Antonio and all over the Midwest.  I’ve been called and emailed with questions from as far away as Israel, South Africa and Ireland.

I started building furniture because I couldn’t afford anything else.  Now I build furniture for others who won’t settle for anything less than the best.  My name is Jason Frantz.  I own WoodShop Artisans and I build custom furniture and cabinetry.

2 Responses {+}
  • Carol Relkin

    I had Jim do some work for us here in Fairfax VA. He’s the best. I need to get in touch with him now and his # is not in service. Do you have any way of getting in touch with him?
    Thanks so much.

  • Jason

    I’ve been trying to get in touch with Jim myself for the past couple of years. I’m not sure where he is currently, as all of the contact information that I had for him is no longer working. The only thought I have is to try calling Grainger Millwork in Woodbridge. They were across the street from his shop and may have contact info. Good luck!

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