January 26, 2005 News & Features » Cover Story

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Anthony Brozna, 34 

Woodworker

Brozna divides his time between Richmond and New York, where fashion industry clients snap up his shelving and storage pieces, and where nightclubs such as Boulevard hire him to outfit their spaces with original work. He's almost fully furnished a client's beach house in the Hamptons, using his pieces' blond woods and smooth lines to play up the relaxed environment. His wall-hanging desks, platform beds and shelving units are getting attention from clients who want quality construction and modern design.

A sculpture graduate from VCU, Brozna says he's attracted to the relative anonymity of woodworking compared with fine arts: "The piece I make ends up taking on the life of the family that owns it," he says, "and I am way more attracted to that — to bringing happiness without being the focus of the art." He praises Richmond's encouragement of fine workmanship, which balances the design-conscious focus of New York.

Because Brozna is interested in physics, many of his designs have cantilevered elements and lean against walls as if floating. And the back sides of his pieces provide what the woodworker calls a passive enjoyment. Though they might not be seen, the backs feature the same fine woods, techniques and finishes as the more visible sides, giving Brozna a satisfied sense of completion.

What's next: A black walnut bed created by Brozna will be featured in the February edition of Elle Décor. Also, Brozna is preparing prototypes for a furniture line that will be hand-built of reclaimed lumber and designed to be affordable for a broader range of customers. "I really have a problem with the aristocracy of fine woodworking," Brozna says. "That factors into my designs for this line," which could be ready for the 2006 International Furniture Fair. — Deveron Timberlake



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