If I could have only one book to guide my work it would be David Pye's, "The Nature and Art of Workmanship." A small, seemingly modest work by a former professor of furniture design at the Royal College of Art in London, Pye’s book is, to my mind, the last word on design and making. For Pye, making was not merely the mechanical application of technique, but the intelligent and sensitive interpretation of design in actual materials. It is an act analogous to the performance of a musical score, where the notes -- the design -- are necessary but not sufficient to make music. I often think that without having read and re-read this work, I wouldn't really know what it is I'm doing when I am working, and more importantly why.

Since building Hans Wegner’s “Round Chair,” mid-century Scandinavian furniture design has remained a constant reference and an exemplar of clean, humane design in wood that reflects the needs of everyday life. Again and again I return to the Japanese master carpenters to study their sublime sense of proportion, composition and unequalled workmanship. Their tools, distilled to perfection, provide an even more intimate guide, as they make up the majority of my own hand tool set. The poetic and dynamic structures of the architect Santiago Calatrava suggest intriguing possibilities for furniture, and have encouraged me to study of the expressive shapes of bones and their structural role in supporting weight and enabling movement.