Tom grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and learned a solid work ethic from his father, a Controller for Delco Electronics. From Tom's earliest years, he was always curious about how things worked and how things were constructed. Tom developed an appreciation for the careful and precise use of tools, by examining how things were made. In High School, Tom's detail-focused approach helped him to excel in gymnastics, which demands a careful, precise delivery to do well. Tom participated in the 1978 State Gymnastics competition.
After High School, Tom studied architecture at Miami Dade College in Coral Gables, Florida. Circumstances caused Tom to return to Milwaukee, where he started working at a small specialty machine shop, where his brother, John, worked. While working at the machine shop, Tom and Linda met, and later, married. They purchased a distressed older home and slowly refurbished it, room by room. Linda had her eye on a bedroom furniture set, and they went to the store to purchase the bedroom set. As Tom examined the furniture, he said to himself and out loud, "I can make this. I can make this better - a lot better."
Tom spent twenty-five years of his career as a CNC machinist. During this time, Tom noticed he could make much better furniture than he saw in any store. Tom began to study Fine Woodworking, using various trade publications, periodicals, historical furniture schematics and plans. "That is when I began to closely examine pieces and really think about the designs and intentions of the 19th century craftsman" muses Tom.
In 1996, Tom turned his woodworking hobby into a career, as the Thomas William Furniture Company was open for business. In 2003, Tom retired from the machinist industry so that he could pursue his true calling; a furniture master craftsman. Tom designs and builds great furniture while Linda assists and manages the business. As of April, 2014 Linda was able to join the business full-time.
Tom distributes his furniture through art shows, interior designers, the internet, commission, sales and return business from happy customers. Tom has since exhibited his furniture throughout the United States, received numerous awards and completed several commissions. Tom's furniture pieces are widely collected.
What began as a woodworking experiment really appealed to Tom's careful, precise nature. Tom discovered that he really enjoyed building quality furniture. Tom's talent and woodworking skills have grown into a business with many happy residential, professional and academic customers.
I am a self taught woodworker with a deep respect for the furniture craftsmen of the 17th and 18th centuries. Their knowledge of form, balance, joinery and wood movement is evident in the pieces of fine furniture that still exist today. The clean line of the Shaker form inspires my designs, creating pieces with a modern flare and sized proportionally for today's needs. I use only solid hardwoods throughout each piece, always reading each board's grain pattern and figure to determine its best use in creating an attractive and functional piece of quality furniture. Pegged mortise and tenon as well as dovetail joinery is applied to every piece for a sturdiness that will allow it to last for generations to come. Every piece is individually made by me and is signed and dated.
I am located in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.