Andrew Bradfield honors the old art of wood working in Fort Worth.
Andrew Bradfield creates impressive tables and many other things out of wood.
Andrew Bradfield's creations are distinctive.
Andrew Bradfield knows his wood creations are meant to be used.
I met Andrew Bradfield on Fall Gallery Night eve where he stood, beaming, next to a live edge coffee table he had made. It’s no surprise to find Bradfield at an event that is centered around art, because in his own right, Andrew Bradfield is an artist as well.
Bradfield is a completely self-taught wood worker.
The simplicity of Bradfield’s craftsmanship is what makes his work so impressive. Growing up in Dallas, Bradfield knew he worked well with his hands. But usually, he was using this gift to make skateboard ramps for he and his siblings to enjoy. It wasn’t until later when he and his wife began remodeling their Fort Worth home that he began to work shoulder to shoulder with the contractor and carpenter.
Bradfield quickly picked up the tools of the trade and threw himself into learning how to make cabinetry and trim. This path eventually led to him wanting to make one-of-a-kind furniture.
“I’ve always loved the furniture that George Nakishima made,” Bradfield tells PaperCity Fort Worth. “Unfussy and well-made. He called himself the original hippie.”
Bradfield describes his own personal style as California modern. Contemporary and warm, but never trying too hard.
“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” Bradfield says. “Simple is usually best.”
He started out with projects for friends and family and eventually Bradfield decided to reach out to Kim Milam, interior designer (KL Milam Interior Design) and founder of House Essential on Camp Bowie Boulevard.
Milam began to sell pieces for him when he would bring his concepts to the store. Bradfield and Milam have a symbiotic friendship built on mutual respect.
“Kim is so intelligent in the way she designs spaces,” Bradfield says. “It’s truly impressive.”
Milam sold and continues to sell an original design he dreamt up, a console table with sleek legs on one side and a waterfall effect on the opposite side. Bradfield also began incorporating the live edges of the wood in his furniture.
“I once made a coffee table from a piece of wood that had been cut on the end-grain, which means it’s cut across the grow rings,” he says. “That makes it really hard to work with because it has a tendency to crack, but I used Dutchmen (a kind of patch used in woodworking) to hold it together.
“The end result was really special, and although it was a difficult job, I felt that project really encapsulated what I do. I try to make each piece the best I’ve ever made.”
All of the Bradfield Design materials are found by the man himself. He has three sources; Northern Custom Hardwoods in Weatherford, Harden Sawmill & Lumber in Denton and Sweeney Hardwoods in East Fort Worth. Each sawmill carries various types and cuts of woods and while Bradfield can work with a large variety, he has a soft spot for walnut because of its durability and ability to hold stain well.
You can also find some of Bradfield’s smaller pieces including handcrafted cutting boards, cheese boards and salad bowls at Meyer & Sage, a local takeout restaurant in The Foundry.
The next Bradfield Design project on the docket is a 10 foot long by 40 inches wide dining room table all derived from a single slab the wood worker sourced from Illinois. The slab had to be shipped directly to Bradfield’s home so he could begin work on this table that will no doubt, be the center piece at Thanksgiving dinner.