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Barbara Goodwin & Tall Maples Wood Studio


A Little History

I’ve been doing fine woodworking since the early 1990s.  Prior to that I was a full-time writer and refinished antique furniture for my own enjoyment in my spare time.  One autumn I took an adult education course in woodworking so that I could repair some old furniture.  That was it–I was hooked on woodworking.  In 1989 I took a break from writing (“just for a semester,” I said) and enrolled in two woodworking courses at Bucks County Community College.  Five semesters later I graduated with a degree from the College’s fine woodworking program.

In 2005 I retired from my writing career, and in 2008 I moved to the country 100 miles north of New York City and built Tall Maples, the woodworking studio of my dreams.  Since then I’ve been doing woodworking full-time.


About My Work

I make one-of-a-kind pieces for retail customers as well as limited-production pieces for businesses that want to provide their special clients or associates with unique, heirloom-quality gifts.  Almost all of my work is at once functional and artistic.  With each item, I strive for an ideal marriage of lean, elegant design and wood species selected for their unique grain patterns and complementary colors.  Adornment in my work is simple and spare—with something of an Asian flare. Frequently I use inlays of holly, ebony, and other highly contrasting species as accents to the base woods.

In my personal life and in my studio, fun is of utmost importance.  I try to incorporate elements to evoke a smile in much of my work–like the turquoise keys in my mirrored, highly polished hanging piano cabinet, the errant dot shaken loose in my dice box, or the block of ice that encapsulates my emergent frog.  I can be serious, too.  Check my contemporized federal-style demi-lune table  and my Mission-style hanging bookshelves.

Whether serious or somewhat whimsical, all items that I produce are characterized by highly original designs and heirloom quality that will last for generations.  Meticulous craftsmanship, a multi-step hand sanding process that invites touch and touch again, and hand-rubbed finishes are hallmarks of my work.