Furniture maker, teacher, author, playwright, photographer, mountain man… just exactly who is Gary Rogowski? To find out, I spoke with the man whose furniture lives in homes nationwide; who operates and teaches at Northwest Woodworking Studio in Portland, OR; who mentors high school students through his nonprofit organization Woodworking Ideas Northwest (WIN); who starred in four DVDs and authored three books, including his latest, Handmade: Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction; who likes to traverse the Cascade mountains as a counterpoint to working in his shop.
Perhaps it’s best to describe Rogowski as a modern Renaissance man—Leonardo da Vinci with a pen and a bandsaw, if you will—whose hard work and curiosity, coupled with an occasional walk in the mountains, lets him cut through the bull and busyness that defines our day and age. Equal to his penned output is his furniture, which is much like the man: Straightforward and spare, with an angular functionality and a deep-rooted sense of purpose and beauty. In masterful work you see, the work of a master.
Profiles: John Malecki
When he wasn’t blocking charging linemen as an offensive guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers, John Malecki picked up woodworking in the offseason to stay focused and disciplined. Before long, friends started asking him to build stuff. Now he runs his own furnituremaking business and teaches the craft through his blog and website. I caught up with John, and we tackled a few woodworking topics.