Richard Scott Newman

Craftsmanship Across the Board

Richard Scott Newman, originally from New York City, has spent his entire adult life in Rochester, New York as a professional woodworker.  In 1966 he applied to study woodworking at the fabled School for American Crafts, and with his submission he included a photo of a banjo he had made while studying engineering at Cornell.  By 1969 Richard set up his shop as a full-time studio furniture maker.  His work is widely known and respected, especially by fellow woodworkers, for its technical sophistication and execution.  His pieces are in museums and collections across the country and featured in many books and articles.  He has written, taught workshops, and spent three years teaching full time at RIT.  But he never entirely left banjos, spending quite a bit of time in the 1970’s making them completely from scratch.  He was known in banjo circles for creating the “Holophonic” rim banjo.  One of Richard’s banjos was featured in “The Harmonious Craft” show originating at the Smithsonian and traveling across the country. In 1977, after the birth of his daughter, he was persuaded to give up banjos and focus on his furniture career.  But now, “semi-retired”, he is back to his original love, working full time, but at his own pace building custom and spec banjos, and also providing superlative laminated rims to other makers.  Richard is excited about sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring builders at MASW. 

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