For more than 40 years, Grell, a completely self-taught and highly talented man dedicated to fine woodworking in the style of America’s 18th century craftsmen, has been creating what are considered to be the finest Windsor chairs available today. Grell is known for his unrivaled variety of Windsor styles and finishes.
“My first Windsor chairmaking class was in 1975 and was very rewarding,” Grell said. “I knew teaching was important to me. I guess you can say I was the first to teach Windsor chairmaking since the craft was lost. Demand for my Windsor chairs interrupted my teaching career.”
After college and a short career in the aerospace industry, Richard followed his woodworking dream and in 1972 became a Windsor chairmaker.
As a child, Richard demonstrated patience and a natural talent for working with his hands-skills he has brought to his craft through the years. He credits his grandfather for recognizing these traits and nurturing his love of woodworking.
“My grandfather would polish and sharpen antique tools for me as birthday gifts,” Grell said. “I would receive a shoebox wrapped with twine that contained an old tool. He taught me how to use and respect these tools. I still use tools today to make my living that I received when I was four years old. I’ve taken care of them all of my life.”
Richard’s attention to detail reflects that nurturing to this day. As a one-man-shop, he is involved in every step of each chair’s creation. He does not buy parts.
Throughout his career as a master craftsman, Richard has been educating people about the history of Windsor chairs and their unique construction characteristics, by lectures, seminars and, due to the high demand for his chairs, limited instruction.
Richard brings a passion for woodworking, sharing his knowledge and his exclusive woodworking and painting techniques to all his classes. This master craftsman and educator teaches and shares his 41 years of experience in his inspiring workshop and beautiful home in historic Hudson, Ohio.