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James Krenov

James Krenov

October 31, 1920–September 9, 2009

James Krenov was the founder of the College of the Redwoods Fine Furniture Program. What follows is an introduction he wrote to the students June 12, 1997:

I’m happy that you’ve looked us up and are interested in what we are doing.
We’re not a new school, we just finished our 16th year, and have managed to gain a reputation for honest and conscientious woodworking.

We are a community college accepting students with varying degrees of experience. Our course is organized, but very relaxed. Because the students all have the same beginning point, that is, wanting to be here, we discover that there’s a wonderful comradeship and feeling among them; they share a lot.

We try to demystify the process of working wood; we simplify it. We concentrate on the logic and the simple physical and mental relationships in any given process. From the very beginning we work with people, leading them to the realization that wood is a vastly rich material and that different kinds of wood call for different methods of working. Wood also has colors, patterns, and textures that can fit into the work. We help people discover the graphics of wood, and that any shape or proportion can be given additional life through proper use of the wood, whether it’s in a cabinet or a something as sculptural as a chair.

We hope that in viewing what we are offering here, you will pay attention to the details, notice the results, and come to realize that if one cares enough, if one pays enough attention to the richness of wood, to the tools, to the marvel of one’s own hands and eye, all these things come together so that a person’s work becomes that person; that person’s message.

In this work, in these details, in these elements, something of a person is included. Their fingerprints or their sense of proportion, line, and detail are there; and what you’re experiencing is something very personal from each of these people: something that they’ve put their heart and soul into.

And we hope some of their enjoyment shows, too.

View Krenov’s Work

A video of the memorial


A Biography

Students remember James Krenov

A wonderful review of Jim's life

Many people have asked how they could express their appreciation of James Krenov, his work, and his ideals.

Britta Krenov has suggested that contributions may be made to the James Krenov Scholarship.

This scholarhip was initiated in 2000 by a CR graduate and friend of Jim’s, Robert Van Norman of Inside Passage.

Distributions from the scholarship benefit CR Fine Woodworking students in financial need, as determined by the Fine Woodworking staff.

Checks may be made out to the:
College of the Redwoods
and mailed to:
C/R Fine Woodworking
440 Alger Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Please designate “JK Scholarship” on the memo line.


440 Alger Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Phone: (707) 964-7056