Finding the Formula for Timelessness in the Art of Woodworking


August 19, 2021

Words by: Mona Butler

Photography by: Trevor Tsoi and RK Photo

Brian Guenther Studio One builds the thoughtful and unexpected.

In our day-to-day, we hardly ever consider the details of carpentry or woodworking, but it is something that surrounds us. We sit, stand, and live completely encompassed by a craftsman’s skills. For Brian Guenther, our practical needs are an opportunity to create timeless art that will delight for generations.

One could almost say that woodworking is in Brian’s genes. He started working with wood at his father’s sawmill at a young age and built his own treehouse, along with furnishings to go inside, using scrap lumber from the mill. It goes without saying that Brian is a creative who loves to work with his hands, but the epiphany that this was to be his career came from a different source. At 18, his passion truly sparked.

“I came across a furniture gallery with many handcrafted pieces of furniture that changed how I viewed woodworking. I decided right then and there that this was the type of work I wanted to do and soon after I enrolled in an advanced woodworking and furniture design course. I spent a full 12 months immersed in furniture making and furniture design.”

The majority of his work so far has been based on clientled projects. Most clients have some photos for inspiration but trust Brian to take the design and make it into something unique and exceptional.

For Brian Guenther, our practical needs are an opportunity to create timeless art that will delight for generations.

“First I talk to the clients and get an idea of what type of design they like. Then, I like to take in the whole space and in my mind, I scroll through the various inspirations I have and find something that suits that space. I like to work with interior designers and riff off of their ideas that they might have for the space or it might be the existing architecture that inspires the design”

When given the opportunity, Brian doesn’t shy away from total creative freedom, like with his most recent furniture pieces: a pair of side tables for the launch of the Hager Studio website. The wood for this particular project had been sitting in his workshop for a few years, among others similarly waiting to be transformed, waiting for the perfect design to bring out its potential. The tables blend some modern elements of interior design, like copper and gold accents, with a timetested classic: mid-century modern.

“I’ve been playing around with highlighting the figure in wood with dye for a few years and I always love the idea of adding metallic accents to pieces. I wanted to do something bold so I decided to use that wood. I didn’t like that wood turns kind of yellow with a natural finish on it so the idea of accenting the figured grain with dye was an easy choice.”

Carpentry and woodwork are crafts meant to build something to last but some don’t stand the test of trends and time when created with too many up-to-the-minute touches. Brian’s winning combination is to craft something thoughtful yet unexpected.

“Obviously time will tell if I have achieved something timeless, but I try to add just enough modern to keep things trendy, and just enough traditional to keep them grounded.”

Share this article: