Tracy Fiegl,
Furniture-maker

Bio/Statement

I live in a rural area in Western New York State on land once owned by my Great Grandfather and his brother. One of my earliest memories is of a trip to our woods with my father on a tractor to drag out a white oak tree he would use as a pole for a barn he was building. During my childhood, he provided me (perhaps without knowing it) with a hammer, a big box of miscellaneous nails, and scraps of barn boards (mostly hemlock). I've been building things with wood ever since.

After studying science in college, I came home to the family farm and started to make furniture. At first I focused on antique reproductions and repaired antiques – from which I learned about joinery and construction.

I then worked for Tom Lacagnina, at the time Professor of Wood Design and Sculpture at Alfred University. Later, I worked for well-known Art Furniture maker Wendell Castle, as an assistant in his Studio. From both I learned about form, aesthetics and discipline, giving me the confidence to create my own designs.

The combination of my science background with living surrounded by trees has instilled in me a fascination with the shapes and forms and details of nature. These provide the inspiration for my furniture, through which I try to re-interpret the elegance of natural forms.

Recently, to realize my design goals I have been using veneers in conjunction with solid wood. Most of the veneer I use, particularly from exotic species, was rescued from the cut-off bin of a furniture factory – destined to be thrown away, but too beautiful to waste. So now, after sorting and boxing and shelving, I have a menu of colors and patterns from which to choose whenever I begin a new piece.