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The Woodshop-Michel Richard

The Woodshop now consists of just me, as Gabe, my son and partner for the past 15 years, has decided to make a career change. Here I am at "retirement" age after some 35 years of hard work, having built countless sets of cabinets, dozens of doors, tables, chairs, bookcases, beds etc, wondering what to do next. I can't all together quit the work since I finally have an ideal shop and the skills to make the best use of it. But definitely no more sets of cabinets.

It all started when, after six years of studies in Fine Arts which included a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, I realized that the part of design I concentrated on, namely illustration, painting and printmaking, was not for me. But I did have an urge to build useful things, as well as an affinity for wood. After all, some of my more successful projects in art school had been woodcuts.

Or did it start earlier, growing up in postwar northeastern France where work was revered and the imagination was directed toward making do with what was available. When at 14 years old I came to the United States with my family, I had already studied most of the math and science that I was going to encounter in high school.

 

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I may have been a good student whose future was going to be engineering but I spent most of those early, long, lonely summers puttering with paints, reading novels and building wood things since my father, a mechanic, also had basic woodworking tools.

So in 1971 when I found myself in Los Lunas, New Mexico, a new father, living rent free (for the cleaning) in a house where the previous owner had stacked piles of lumber, and with friends who needed furniture, I bought my first table saw (which still serves me well) and started the business.

Right now, Spring 2008, I need to take a breather, finish my house, etc. and will not be taking on any more work for a year or so. The following pages are a partial record of my work. I plan to add more photos that span those very active decades since 1971. Should something among these photographs really interest you and if you are patient, contact me after I've had a bit of a break. I expect I will be ready to tackle more work at that time.

Sincerely,
Michel Richard


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The Woodshop #6 Sandhill Road Los Lunas, New Mexico 87031 Phone: 505-865-7741
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