Richard Johnson is unique.
An accomplished cabinet and furniture maker, Rick stands out in his industry as an artist. Rick has built his reputation on the beauty of his designs, his selection of wood species, his attention to detail, and his respect for and devotion to his customers.
Myriad thick slabs of black walnut, hickory, maple, birch, oak and other species, milled by Rick himself, stand in endless plank rows in his 3500 square foot shop in the Garnerville Arts Center.
Some will be made into French provincial or Craftsman style furniture; others will become intricate crown molding reliefs in exquisite libraries or book-matched conference or dining room tables destined for the finest addresses in the New York area.
Rick is also known for his natural edge sustainable furniture and sculptures.
Rick’s love of wood and attention to its unique characteristics began more than 30 years ago.
In his early career, Rick’s penchant for knowing where large old growth hardwoods were standing led him to harvest and mill these magnificent trees after damage from storm events or in advance of land development.
His interest and hard work brought him the extraordinary opportunity to work with the legendary Mr. George Nakashima, who admired certain wide slab crotch and live edge pieces Rick was then harvesting and used them in his work. George Nakashima proved to be one of the greatest influences on Rick’s own work. “I don’t copy Nakashima”, Rick says, “but his philosophy and craftsmanship inspire and guide my vision.”
Today, Rick’s handcrafted work is held by private collectors, hotels and corporations and exhibited by fine furniture dealers and in galleries throughout the country.
Photography: Juris Mardwig