Brad Smith was born in 1954 and raised on a farm in Worcester, Pennsylvania, in the southeastern part of the state.
As a farm boy he was always working to ﬁx and build things around the farm. This led to an interest in woodworking that he developed in high school. For four years after graduation, he worked in several different woodworking shops in the area. Although he learned the basics of woodworking and developed a strong work ethic, Brad felt a more formal education would be helpful. In 1976, he attended the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Craftsmen and graduated with a BFA in woodworking and furniture design in 1980.
Later that year, he started Bradford Woodworking with his wife Sandy, who also graduated from R.I.T. The business began with a line of kitchen tools and accessories, which Brad and Sandy designed, crafted, and marketed. In 1986, Brad expanded the business by developing a line of distinctive furniture. The ﬁrst piece in the line was the Ax Handle Stool™, which continues to be the workhorse of the line.
Brad strives for steady growth and improvement of that line, which is represented in many of the finest stores and galleries around the country. Brad also builds ten to fifteen one-of-a-kind pieces a year on speculation or commission.
“Furniture is often categorized into easily recognized styles such as Shaker, Country, or Arts and Crafts. Over the past 25 years, I have worked to develop a design language that is truly my own. In doing so I have been able to create furniture that cannot be pigeonholed into an existing style. Despite this, my work has a familiarity. I achieve this through the use of recycled materials, good proportions, and old-fashioned usefulness. I find a warmth and history in each salvaged piece of lumber that I use. The marriage of old and new that can be found in my work plays an important role in expressing the richness of things made today and things made decades ago. I want my furniture to not only tell a story, but also be the beginning of a new story.”
To learn more about Brad and his unique pieces visit his website: www.bradfordwoodworking.com