Bruce Powell

I have a passion for creating beautiful furniture. The chance to bring together interesting wood, thoughtful design, meticulous craftsmanship, and careful finishing is energizing.

I’ve been woodworking since high school where I made a Penguin-class sailboat that raced in Seattle’s Frostbite series on Lake Washington. My first furniture piece was a captain’s desk of pine that is still lovingly in use. After a career in computers, I turned to focus on building custom furniture. Recently I have created a series of pieces incorporating elements of Chinese design and joinery. Contact me if you have a desire for a piece of furniture that will give you pleasure daily and be a keepsake for future generations.

Bruce Powell

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Bedside tables

Handsawn dovetail joints
on drawers

These are made from lovely elm harvested in Sonoma County. The wood called out for a delicate profile and so the legs have a slight flair.

Each table: 25" wide, 14" deep and 23" tall

Sideboard in Biedermeier style

A contemporary interpretation of an antique chest of drawers from the Biedermeier period (1800 to 1825) re-imagined as a sideboard for a dining room.

Casement constructed of American walnut veneers and walnut solids. Top and side veneer pattern wraps continuously up sides and across top. Accent strips and columns are ebonized Peruvian walnut. Drawer fronts and doors are American walnut burl book-matched along three vertical seams.

Dimensions: 36" high 72" wide 20" deep

Tray #15, one of many of a series

Over the years I've made many trays as special gifts and for purchase.  Each incorporates exotic woods and is designed to feel good in one's hands.


Particularly beautiful at dusk with a candle glowing on the shelf.

Cherry with steambent curved elements.

Size: 18" high 11" wide 5" deep

Bookcases in Chinese style

Awarded "First Prize - Design" at 2011 Bay Area Woodworkers Association (BAWA) 2nd annual exhibition.

"This is a quiet sweet piece, well proportioned, intricate but shy. The choice of wood is excellent. The execution is not too fussy, it is just right." John McCormack. judge

American elm from the Hermitage plantation in Tennessee.

Dimensions: each 30” wide by 12” deep by 40” tall

Side tables in spalted elm

Top constructed using curved joinery of planks from elm tree in Sonoma.  Legs flare gracefully outwards.  Front apron is also curved to match front of table top, and is laminated from spalted elm obtained from Hermitage plantation in Tennessee.

Dimensions: 29 1/2" H by 39" W by 14 1/2" D

Chinese round corner cabinet

This cabinet, a yuanjiaogui, is a classical furniture design with its tapered, wood-hinged doors and rounded legs.  The legs are moulded at the outer corners and squared on the inside. The doors pivot on wooden hinge pins and are removable.  This pivoted door construction has been used at since at least the western Zhou period (ca. 1100-771 B.C.) per Friends of the House by Nancy Berliner.

Adapted from Chinese Domestic Furniture by Gustov Ecke.

Quarter-sawn Padoak.

The lock set and drawer pulls were hand-made in China of "white brass" to fit door molding.

Dimensions: 28 ½” wide by 16 ½” deep by 43” tall

Queen bed in cherry

Head and foot boards are frame and panel construction with curved laminated top rails.

Crafted in cherry with maple highlights.

Bed bolts screw into embedded steel plates

Bed bolts screw into steel plates
embedded in legs at ends of rails

Emily's cradle

Legs are form-bent, tapered laminations. Crafted in cherry. Disassembles for storage.

Cutting board #75, one of a series

Now at over 100 cutting boards made, each unique. Each incorporates exotic woods in interesting designs.

Bedside tables in Chinese style

Spalted maple from wind-downed trees at Hermitage plantation in Tennessee.

Bookmatched top plates.

Dimensions: 17”wide by 14”deep by 23”tall

Jewelry box with hidden carved rose

One of seven made at one time for Christmas presents. Almost entirely hand-shaped in a frenzy of late-night woodworking.

The sides and top were shaped with scrapers cut and filed to the desired forms. The rose is carved on the inside of the lid as a surprise.  All joints are splined.

Honduran mahogany.

Dimensions: 14: wide, 9 1/2" deep and 5" high

Bowfront cabinet

Curved doors and drawer front formed over laminated birch plywood core.

Quilted maple veneers and solids with Tasmanian blackwood accents.

Dimensions: 24”W 36"H 18½”D

Cabinet with bookmatched walnut burl doors

This cabinet is a modern interpretation of a classic Chinese round corner cabinet, a yuanjiaogui. The legs are octagonal in cross-section. Top and sides are solid jatoba in frame and panel construction.

Doors are 4-way bookmatched walnut burl veneer on show side and walnut veneer on inside. The doors pivot on custom blade hinges of brass. The lock set and drawer pulls were hand-made in China of "white brass".

Adapted from Chinese Domestic Furniture by Gustov Ecke.

Dimensions: 28 1/2" wide by 16 1/2" deep by 44 1/2" tall

Wine glass table

Inspired by a friend of mine in Seattle who sits in a comfortable chair to watch movies, and who just needs a little table close by on which to set her wine glass, I am making a series of small, colorful, low-cost and fun tables. When guests come over and pull up a chair just plop one of these down beside them for their drink.  Or use anytime for displaying flower arrangements.

Typically 21"high.