It all started right there.

Gestures timber framer Michael Cummings, pointing to a small workbench in the corner of his shop. A large vise on one corner, the surface completely obscured with layers of carving tools and sandpaper. Ever since I was a kid, I've always been building things. My first woodworking project in school was carving a kitchen mixing spoon, I think it took 4-5 weeks to make! But I liked that feeling you get when you've created something out of nothing. That spoon didn't exist before I made it. That's a pretty powerful idea to learn as a kid.

 I’ve built everything from guitars to canoes, experimenting, finding my path. I discovered the many Shaker communities in our region early on and have been a student of their work ever since. Simple and functional does not mean artless and crude. I hope my efforts evoke the same clean timeless forms.

We love it here in Ripton, our nearest neighbors are a half a mile away. I run a pretty relaxed workshop, we work hard but there’s always time in the day to cross country ski out the shop door into the National Forest in winter, bike the old back roads in the summer. This work is my life, I can't imagine what else I would want to do.  I smile every time I walk into my shop.  Thanks for your interest, without people to appreciate, use and live in our work -- well the alternatives don't even bear thinking about.


Owner and lead timber framer at House in the Woods