John Welch was born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts. He enjoys cooking and isn't one to want to sit still. He believes in the importance of hands on activity and work and being able to really make something out of seemingly nothing. What once was a relaxing hobby became a true love and craft for him and thus John Francis Designs was born!
John and his wife bought their house years back and he started to do little improvements around like doing the trim work and floors. His interest was sparked when he saw other people doing spoon making online and thought it would be a nice relaxing thing to do while sitting on the deck in his free time. Then he gave out spoons as gifts for the holidays.
From there John was starting to work on projects out of his garage. He quickly realized he would need a bigger and more efficient work space when he would always have to move the cars out of the garage for a few days to work and then put everything back in it's place afterward.
He found the Western Avenue Studios in Lowell about 3 years ago. The old mill building is now a collective of all kinds of makers and craftspeople. They hold open studios on the first Saturday of every month and it has given many an opportunity for collaboration. It is one of the largest artist community spaces under one roof in the country and between the space itself and being part of the collection of artists that work there, it has made John's business and craftsmanship grow to new heights.
John makes spoons, cutting boards, kitchen utensils, candle holders, and is even teaching some spoon making classes of his own! He works with different stains and woods and will often use reclaimed wood for non food items. His work is very refined but not too perfect, and we love that. They look handmade in the best way possible and would definitely add a natural and rustic feel to any home.
Be sure to visit John's site online and go meet him and see his work in person at the studios in Lowell!