Welcome to SAPFM
For more than 20 years, The Society of American Period Furniture Makers has been committed to providing our members with the best in fine furniture making education. We provide this service through our symposiums, publications, chapter meetings, and on-line resources.
SAPFM holds two national Conferences a year. Our winter event is held in Colonial Williamsburg and the summer mid-year event meets at various venues. Both events are packed with instructional sessions, social time, and historical tours.
Local chapter are the backbone of SAPFM. These groups of woodworkers meet several times a year to learn important skills for period furniture making. These smaller groups are an excellent opportunity to learning hands-on and meeting with fellow furniture making enthusiasts.
SAPFM publishes an annual printed journal featuring articles on furniture making, history, and techniques. A quarterly newsletter is emailed to all members featuring chapter news, events, and other articles covering construction and techniques.
Our website contains a wealth of information for the furniture maker. We have articles covering all aspects of period furniture, furniture construction plans, past conference notes, research papers, manuals, tool and book reviews, and curated lists.
|Each year, the Society of American Period Furniture Makers recognizes an individual whose achievements best reflect the mission of SAPFM. The Cartouche Award is SAPFM's way of acknowledging the contributions made by craftsmen, educators, conservators, and supporters, professional or hobbyist, who have inspired or instructed others, or who have simply made the world more pleasing as a result of their skillful labors.|
Members from the woodworking community exchange ideas on our forum. Topics include tools, veneering, carving, books, conservation, and furniture repair to name a few.
Becoming a member of SAPFM opens a whole new world of learning. Our web-sites has plans available for download. We publish an annual Journal and quarterly newsletters covering construction, history, and commentary on period furniture. Our two annual conferences get you up-close to furniture making and the skilled craftsman who show you the techniques used. You can get involved in local chapters where you learn from fellow members and show off your work.
Visit our Members Gallery to view the many fine pieces built by SAPFM members. Many are museum reproductions. We hope that among these many masterworks you will find inspiration for your next build.
Woodworker and Friend
As most of us know PhiL Lowe was a longtime SAPFM member, 2005 Cartouche Award recipient, teacher to countless students, mentor and friend to many of us.
It is with great honor and privilege that the Board of Directors at SAPFM is announcing the support of preserving the Phil Lowe drawing library .
American Period Furniture Throughout the Decades
William and Mary (1680 to 1730)
Named after William III and Mary II the co-regents of England of this era. This is one of the first styles to be produced in the colonies. It is a variation on Anglo-Dutch style and is characteristic of Baroque with features such as elaborate turnings, severe curves, and case pieces with simple flat surfaces and architectural trim. Commonly constructed of walnut, oak, pine, and maple.
Pennsylvania Dutch (1720 to 1830)
The Pennsylvania Dutch period was marked by heavy German influences. The pieces were simple and utilitarian, with the predominant decoration colorful hand-painted scenes. The furniture from this period features straight lines, simple turnings, and tapered legs made from walnut, oak, and pine.
Queen Ann: 1720 to 1750
This style blends elements from the proceeding William and Mary period. It is named after the English monarch who reigned from 1702 to 1714. It is ornate and often characterized by the newly introduced cabriole leg, curving chair crests, and decorative scallop and shells, and volutes.
Queen Anne became popular in the United States due to the expanding wealth of colonist. Cities were expanding at the same time. With this came regional variations such as Newport, Rhode Island, and Philadelphia adaptations. Common woods include cherry and mahogany.
Chippendale (1750 to 1780)
Chippendale furniture is named after English cabinet maker Tomas Chippendale and derived from his book The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director. This was first furniture style named after a cabinet maker and not a monarch. It is closely related to the Queen Anne style. Designs fall into three main styles: Gothic, Rococo , and Chinese.
Mainly characterized by the style of the legs and feet including the lion’s paw, ball and claw, Marlborough, club, and spade. Chair backs are often intricately pierced and carved with ribbon motifs. Pieces were normally made of dark woods indigenous to the area.
Shaker (1820 to 1860)
The Shaker period was named after a religious movement of the period that had guiding principles of simplicity, utility and honesty. Their furniture was a reflection of these principles. Ornamentation was replaced with asymmetrical drawer arrangements and multipurpose forms to add visual interest. The appearance was primarily straight lines, doors with flat panels, woven or cane seat material, basic turned wooden knobs, and visible locking joinery. These underlying principals continue to give inspiration to modern furniture makers.
Arts and Craft/Mission (1880 to1920)
The Arts and Craft period symbolized a minimalist period in furniture design. Started by William Morris, it was a revolt against furniture made during the Industrial Revolution. The Morris Chair is one iconic piece from this period. In America, Gustav Stickley, Elbert Hubbard, Charles Limbert, and Greene and Greene were well know makers of Mission-style furniture.
Common materials included leather for upholstery and quarter sawn oak. The oak is fumed with ammonia for a distinctive brown color.
Enjoy the Many Benefits of SAPFM Membership
Members enjoy the following benefits.
- Category: People People
BY MIKE SIEMSEN
The first project I can remember making on my own was a small wall sconce or shelf I had seen in a magazine. I told my parents that I wanted to make it and, being enablers, they got me started. We had a coping saw frame and no blades (I am sure my brothers and I had broken them all at some point), so my dad took me down to Perrozzi’s Hardware in Lompoc, Calif., and we picked up some blades. On the way home, he swung the Rambler American behind the Safeway store and found a fruit crate with wood suitable for my project.
- Category: People People
BY SCOTT P. CALKINS December, 2003 Updated December, 2003
An Interview with John Davis
John Davis grew up in Newark, Delaware but now lives in Virginia. After a stint in the USAF, John married his high school sweetheart almost 25 years ago. They have two great girls, which is why John makes two of everything in the shop!
- Category: People People
BY SCOTT P. CALKINS August 2003 Updated: August 2003
An Interview with Jeff L. Headly
Where do you draw the line? When does a piece become hand made verses machine made? I wrestle with that question quite often.
- Category: People People
BY RONNIE YOUNG April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021
The world lost a great woodworker this week when Al Hudson, SAPFM’s oldest active member, completed his one hundred and second year here on earth and I lost a friend and mentor. Al lived a full life; drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team out of high school (his mother would not allow him to accept the offer because he would be required to play ball on Sunday), a WW II veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps, a scratch golfer, an accomplished engineer who designed electrical power plants and later systems to reduce air pollution from those plants. He married and had two daughters and raised his family in Knoxville, Tennesee where he followed yet another passion, building traditional American Period Furniture in his home workshop.