Biography of a Wood Worker
Those who know Brad Stave will tell you that Brad has always worked with wood in some form or another. And those who don’t know Brad, but meet him, soon experience the intense love he has for wood. If names are omens in a person’s life, then Brad Stave‘s name was sure to destine him to a life of woodworking.
Brad began working with wood at the age of 5 when he received his first toolbox. “There hasn’t been a time that I can remember, where wood has not been a significant part of my life,” recalls Brad. Brad designed and created furniture, wall hangings, table’s sculptures and other items in forms he liked best, and was so successful in his endeavors that by age 18, his works were displayed in a local art show featuring young artists.
Throughout high school, Brad developed an interest in graphic arts; and followed through with this interest by training in visual communications and graphics at Western Washington State College. Two years later, he became restless and dissatisfied with his program, and moved to California where he again worked with wood; building fences, turning candlestick holders, goblets and glasses out of redwood. This experience convinced him that upon his return to college, he would concentrate his studies in an area that would allow him to work with wood.
And so it was, Brad returned to college, majoring in Materials and Processes Technology, with a concentration on wood. Every spare moment was spent in the wood shop; and when he wasn’t there or in class, he was at work – a business whose concern it was to build wooden toys and games.
After graduating from college, Brad remained true to his heart. He realized that working with wood was not enough. He wanted to share his love for wood through teaching; and it has rewarded him with many enriching experiences. While teaching high school students in Washington, he lived next door to an antique dealer. That situation afforded him many opportunities to study and repair antiques. Then in Wyoming, he taught woodworking to Arapaho and Shoshone Native American Children (grades 3-8). It was while teaching and working in his 100-year-old carriage house with a dirt floor, and a wood burning stove, that he was able to design furniture inspired by James Krenov. Brad’s Furniture became so popular that they were featured at a premiere gallery in the area.
A marriage and several thirty below zero winters in Wyoming helped to motivate Brad to move to Seattle, Washington, to take upon himself the ultimate challenge; the designing and building of his own home. His dream home took almost three years to build including the cabinetry, stair rails, and lighting fixtures, which were made of wood.
Then in 1985, Brad moved to California. There he started a new job, and became a father of a newly born daughter. Sensing her husbands need to find some avenue to work with wood, Brad’s wife Silvia bought him a wood lathe. And from that point on, Brad knew he had found his niche. Brad says, “Of all the creative endeavors I have pursued, wood turning has been the most rewarding, it is the pursuit of my heart.”
By 2006 Brad was ready to get back home , the Pacific Northwest , so Gig Harbor is now home and let the chips fly !!