William Francis Brown, a native of Chester County, Pennsylvania, learned to work wood from E. Townsend Moore, a former curator at Winterthur Museum and part of a long line of county furniture makers who melded Welsh, English, and Dutch styles. A cabinetmaker for more than 30 years, Brown works primarily with traditional local cherry, maple, and walnut, basing his interpretations on Chester County and Philadelphia antiques in museums and historic sites.
He scours museum archives and studies antiques for ideas, patterns, moldings, inlay designs, and proportions before designing a piece that might take months to finish, depending on the complexity, amount of carving, and other details. He hand cuts dovetail and mortise-and-tenon joints and hand planes and scrapes the wood surfaces.
Brown often uses pigment dyes and linseed or other natural oils to finish his furniture. For table tops he adds thin coats of rubbed shellac or thinned varnish as added protection. He strives to maximize the natural character of the wood, creating a handmade texture and chatoyance on pieces that will attain the patina of originals.
Brown’s work has been featured in Fine Woodworking, Popular Woodworking, and Woodwork Magazine as well as in exhibits from San Diego, California, to Rockport, Maine. He has won numerous awards including the international Veneer Challenge in 2018 and is recognized as a leading authority on 19th-Century carver Edward Halley Bellamy, of Kittery, Maine. Brown’s versions of Bellamy eagles have sold throughout the world to collectors and museums.
Many events listed on our calendar have been postponed or cancelled as a precaution to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, now a pandemic. If you must (or choose) to attend an event, we suggest you call and verify that it will be taking place as planned.
Our regular August 2020 edition has been printed on schedule and is on its way to all of our subscribers. Because of the Covid-19 situation, postal delivery sometimes is taking longer than usual, so please be patient. Subscribers should get their magazines before mid-July. Email us at email@example.com if you suspect you have had a delivery problem—because our offices remained closed for the protection of our staff, we cannot answer telephone queries at this time.
All new web subscriptions will start with the August 2020 issue. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have other subscription requirements.
Early American Homes
For Sale in New Jersey
English cottage-style house (c.1930) with open beams, fieldstone fireplace, and lots of charm. 1000 square feet in 8 rooms, screened porch, garage. Affordable area in Morris County, NJ, with transportation to NYC . $230,000.