This Oregon Artisan Is On A Mission To Keeping Woodworking Alive


Inspired by furniture designer Sam Maloof, along with Danish modernist icons Finn Juhl and Hans Wegner, former U.S. military officer and woodland firefighter Justin Nelson began Fernweh Woodworking out of his Bend, Oregon, garage workshop in 2015.

A self-taught woodworker who is just as passionate about design, Nelson has a catalog of small-batch minimalist tables (such as the Tripod Tables, below) and chairs, all designed and produced in-house. “I view myself as just a beginner woodworker and designer, and to some extent I hope to always feel that way,” he says. “No matter how much you learn, you should always be overwhelmed and excited by the oceans of things yet to be discovered. I hope to do my small part to keep the craft of woodworking not only alive, but fresh.”

When asked about his 2020 plans, Nelson dreams big: He plans to incorporate several more pieces into his line, including a dining chair, a contemporary lounge chair and ottoman set, and a new ottoman design for his current award-winning sling chair, Fernweh’s inaugural design (above). Nelson intends to move his company’s headquarters to a larger space in Bend as well.