Al McWaters, Wizard of Wood

I design and build custom furniture meticulously crafted from both renewable exotic and native hardwoods. Each of my commissions is designed to fulfill the unique needs and requirements of my current client and then crafted with an uncompromising attention to detail that insures a heirloom quality result. My designs often draw inspiration from Japanese and Shaker craftsmen emphasizing simplicity, elegance, and functionality.

My formal training includes and degree in Furniture design from the School for the American Craftsman, then two years as Shop Assistant to Jerre Osgood. Informally I have 15 years experience operating and growing SkyShips Design and 22 years designing exhibit space and furniture for the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum.

I am currently living and working in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Having recently retired from the University of Michigan, I’m now focused on designing and building furniture and teaching at Maker Works Ann Arbor.

Al is checked out on: Epilog Laser Cutter, ShopBot CNC Router, 3- Saws Class, Planer/Jointer/Drum Sander, Drill Press/Bandsaw

Al can teach: Epilog Laser Cutter, ShopBot CNC Router, 3- Saws Class, Planer/Jointer/Drum Sander, Drill Press/Bandsaw

Skills:

Primary:

  • Wood working
  • Furniture Design
  • Working with clients,members & students
  • Problem solving

Secondary:

  • Apple software and systems support
  • Apple scripting
  • Java script
  • Html coding
  • CSS coding
  • Plumbing
  • General electrical work
  • Finish carpentry
  • Rough carpentry
  • Simple Stain glass

Interests:

  • People
  • Birding
  • All things bright and shiny (high and low tech)
  • Gardening
  • Boat building
  • Finding out the how & why of what make things work
  • Relearning to fly fish and tie flys

Passions:

  • Good design
  • Elegant and clever solutions
  • Enjoying the long strange trip that life is.
  • Being better