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An Artisan's Perspective

In this second of our “How It’s Made” series of seminars, The Luxury Marketing Council of San Francisco visits the enticing Laurel Heights home of Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers. Master cabinetmaker, Brenda Swett demonstrates the woodworking techniques that define the art of furniture design and cabinetry-making.

In this informative seminar, you will gain the following insights:

Characteristics of various wood types and their suitability for furniture and cabinetmaking
The fundamentals of high-quality furniture design
Furniture styles-what are they and who buys them
The art, craft and technique of artisanal furniture construction
How to evaluate furniture for quality of construction and durability


Brenda Swett

Master Cabinetmaker

Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers

Brenda Swett recently joined the ranks of Moser cabinetmakers who have spent more than twenty years working at the company. Brenda is a professional bass-fisherwoman in her spare time. Her impeccable attention to detail makes Brenda a perfect candidate for building case pieces. That eye for detail could also have been developed from her previous job as a bread inspector for Country Kitchen Bakery.

Brenda finds great satisfaction in seeing the end result of each piece of furniture she builds. Her favorites are the New Gloucester Rocker, Dr. White's Chest and anything from the Crescent collection.

About Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers

Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers was founded forty years ago to restore the lost art of fine woodworking. Formerly a Bates college professor, Tom Moser left teaching in 1972 to start making one-of-a-kind furniture in an old Grange Hall in New Gloucester, Maine. His wife Mary managed the selling and finances, while their four sons trained as young apprentices.

Tom's early designs bore a strong resemblance to Shaker, Queen Anne, Pennsylvania Dutch and other antique forms. From spiral stairs to a waterwheel, from wooden canteens to a harpsichord, the company's position was, "if it's made of wood, we can do it." In time this search for a proprietary form was synthesized into a coherent and unified body of work for home, office and academic environments.

During the last forty years, the company has grown from a one-man operation to nearly 70 cabinetmakers (about half men and half women). Today Thos. Moser furniture remains 100% American designed, engineered and built. “It is significant to me that we are celebrating our 40th anniversary,” says Tom Moser. “We started the business as a labor of love and as we grew knew that we were making a difference. We have come a long way since those lean early years, and for that we are grateful to our loyal customers and to the all the men and women who have been part of our shop family. Forty years have passed and our commitment to the craft and to our customers remains the same. ”

In 1987 the company built a new workshop facility in Auburn, Maine, not far from its original location. In addition to mailing catalogs, Thos. Moser operates seven showrooms located in New York, Connecticut, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Freeport, Maine, and at the company’s workshop in Auburn, Maine.