David Fay Custom Furniture
Hartmann Bed Frame Trapezoid Bookshelf
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The New York Times: Currents

September 8, 1994

By Timothy Jack Ward
Photographs by Ted Betz

When the Japanese-American woodworker George Nakashima died in 1990, he left a legacy for generations of furniture designers in his book The Soul of the Tree (Kodansha America, 1981) and in his Arts and Crafts style that married Western function and Eastern craft and joinery techniques.

David Fay, 28, is an Oakland, Calif., designer who began his career, much like Nakashima, traveling the world on a shoestring while learning carpentry and, he said, developing the sense that "every piece of lumber tells a story about the life of the tree."

He built houses in which posts, beams and rafters are connected only with mortise and tenon joints and the structure of the house is left exposed.

Now, he's building furniture like his houses, "only on a more refined, intimate scale," he said. His work includes a trapezoidal bookshelf, right, based on a 1906 Roycrofter design. A bed frame, left, with a planchonia headboard looks monastically simple but is elegant and delicately crafted.

On Sept. 21, a show of new work by the George Nakashima Workshop of New Hope, Pa., will open at the Tenri Gallery, 575 Broadway, at Prince Street.