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.
William Francis Brown has been selected for the following Directories:
Biography updated June 26, 2018 Photograph updated June 26, 2018Contact information updated April 16, 2019
Or call 440-543-8566 to subscribe or buy back issues.
2,328 days until America's Sestercentennial
2020 Directory Applications
The deadline for applying to enter the 2020 Directory of Traditional American Crafts has passed. Applications are now in the hands of the jury, who will select the best artistry to include in the Directory. When the judges have completed their selections, we will individually notify each participant whether he had been selected. Please refrain from contacting us during the jurying process. It will only slow things down.
Our regular April 2020 edition is on its way to all of our subscribers. The postal service advises you should allow up to three weeks for delivery, so we expect all of our subscribers will have their copies by the beginning of March.
All new web subscriptions will start with the April 2020 issue. Call us at 440-543-8566 if you have other subscription requirements.