An experienced woodworker, designer and problem solver, Skip Odell attended the Rhode Island School of Design as a young man and began working as a ship’s joiner shortly thereafter in Ontario, Canada. Over many years, he has worked as a boatbuilder, cabinetmaker, woodworker, homebuilder and sawyer, learning his craft through apprenticeship, trial and error, experience and reflection.
Skip has been producing “one-off” furniture in his Colorado shop since 1984, collaborating with clients to give material form to their ideas and desires. His original work consistently features superb craftsmanship, solid construction, and imaginative design. He explains:
“With every piece, I try different ideas, techniques, and materials, hoping to arrive at something interesting, pleasing, and useful. To my mind, form follows the intended function of a piece. I always try to design and build to ensure integrity, good craftsmanship, utility, durability, harmony, and beauty. The challenge to keep all of these elements intact is always interesting, often time consuming, but instructive and satisfying in the end.
As to construction, I still follow advice I received from an older co-worker when I began working for a living: “nail where you can and screw where you must.” Although I don’t use any nails in my furniture, this advice has guided me to use the best methods possible, and my joinery incorporates mortise and tenon, slip joints, dovetails where needed, fine adhesives, and so on. I carefully consider, shape, and connect each part to the whole, using the strongest, most aesthetic, and most appropriate means possible.
My process results in fine furniture that will last and serve owners at least for their lifetime and, I expect, generations beyond. My work is, hopefully, beautiful and pleasing. Instead of taking shortcuts, I often spend unpredicted time pursuing this goal, but I find this effort worthwhile in the end, for my own satisfaction and that of my customers.”