Frank Klausz is at the other end of the spectrum from James Krenov.
Mr. Klausz was TRAINED, from a very young age, to be a furniture maker
and learned the trade through apprenticeship - to his father.
Mr. Krenov CHOSE to be a furniture maker and sought out teachers,
both in design, as well as execution.
Mr. Klausz earns a good living making furniture FOR people.
Mr. Krenov makes furniture HE wants to make and people buy
the things he makes (or are given the piece).
Mr. Klausz's work focuses on the function,form and fit of a piece,
the wood, for the most part, being merely a material to work in
order to make the piece. Which is not to saw that he ignores
the wood - but rather than he selects it based on how well (quickly
and easily) it can be worked in order to make it into a part for
a piece. That is not to say that he doesn't have carefully selected
and very nice stock. But the best stuff is for the occassional
really nice piece. I suspect that he buys stock based on project
needs and doesn't search or seek out the unusual or rare wood
and keep it for some future unknown piece.
Mr. Krenov, on the other hand, began looking for unusual wood
and acquiring what he could afford - and had space for - with
no particular piece in mind. Mr. Krenov starts with the wood
and either develops a design that will best utilize it - or -
starts with an idea and then finds the wood best suited to his
Mr. Klausz is a very practical furniture maker.
Mr. Krenov, by his own admission, is an imparctical "cabinet
maker" - the title of his first book as I recall.
Mr. Klausz was trained to be fast and efficient. If you watch
him work (see Frank Klausz - Making A Dovetailed Drawer)
you will see just how fast and efficient he is.
Mr. Krenov comes at furniture making from a completely
different perspective. He spends a lot of time pondering
and just as much time on what might appear to be very
simple, little, insignificant details - chamfer and edge or
merely ease it, perhaps with just a little sanding.
Mr. Klausz is a great teacher - of efficient technique and
discipline (and I don't mean "discipline" in a Catholic School/
Mr. Krenov is more of guide or guru - to a philosphical
APPROACH to furniture making - more geared towards
insights than technique(s) - which is not to say he
doesn't have excellent technique for the few types
of joinery he uses.
If I wanted to make a living doing woodworking I'd look
for a quy like Mr. Klausz. If I wanted to learn to make
the types of furniture I would want to live with - year
in and year out - Mr. Krenov.
Both are exceptional woodworkers. Why are they
both european? Of course, there's Ian Kirby.
ps - I got a grin out of the log "beam" supporting
the "shelf" over the doorway. Mr. Klausz is very