WESTON MONKS

American  B. 1935

BIOGRAPHY

 

B. 1935 in Weymouth, Massachusetts; currently lives in Brewster, MA

 

Weston Monks’ family history dates back to the Mayflower and is steeped in New England tradition and sensibilities. He grew up in Weymouth, MA in a historical farmhouse, surrounded by post revolutionary furniture designed and crafted by family ancestors.  Monks always admired the family antiques and remembers thinking perhaps he too might possess the skills to make beautiful furniture.  His mother, a self taught oil painter, often found him busy sketching and drawing, but ultimately it was the world of fine craftsmanship in traditional woodworking which captured his imagination and creative spirit.

 

After graduating high school, Monks joined a framing crew and spent three years learning the trade.  He enjoyed the work and continued to build homes after his service in the air force and during his 35 year career with the telephone company. What started as hands on learning in carpentry soon blossomed into a lifelong interest and self taught expertise in historical restoration, new construction building period homes, making reproduction furniture, and weaving Nantucket baskets using traditional techniques.

 

Monks always appreciated the aesthetic of colonial furniture and lightship baskets and was drawn to the creative challenge of making them by hand.  He makes each piece in its entirety from start to finish, including the molds required to make the Combacks, arm rests and other contoured shapes of the Winsor Chair. Monks also makes the molds which shape the Nantucket baskets (see image to the left)  Each piece he makes is unique, uninfluenced by the industrialism of factory production. He feels strongly that by taking the “machine” out of woodworking the human element is added back in and the piece tells a story and has a history of its own.  This is his attempt to hold on to America’s history in a beautiful way and keep it alive.