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John Kelleher - Woodworker


After graduating with an MFA in fine art from Washington University in St. Louis, I began an apprenticeship with a hand made picture framer in St. Louis (Mark Buckheit Picture Framing). From there I moved into art museum picture framing, working at the MFA,h in Houston Texas before striking out on my own, making picture frames for collectors, galleries and museums. In 2003, I moved to San Diego to work with Janos Novak, a master gilder, at J. Dewars Fine Arts. My early career was very focused on fine woodworking and joinery on a very specific scale.



Today, I work alone in a small shop, and it is glorious. The shop is a treasure trove of antique and modern hand tools with a sprinkling of power tools, a drill press, band saw and mortiser. The shop is quiet and clean, it usually smells strongly of wood shavings. I hardly ever use anything remotely toxic, but sometimes employ an oil finish using turpentine. The shop is not much different than a woodworkers from a century ago.


Each project is entered into as a partnership. My number one concern is to deliver what you dream of, as long as it is structurally sound and safe. I will never dissuade you from what you desire simply because it is more work for me, and I am always happy to do the research needed to create something new and innovative.