Jaap Romijn, our 2016 Founders' Award recipient, has been a friend of the School since the very beginning, as a founding Board Member. Most recently, he shared his talent for furniture design as the designer of the porch furniture sets built for the Fort Worden PDA, which now grace the porches of Officer's Row houses. Jaap was kind enough to share a bit about his background and path to becoming an artist and craftsperson.
Jaap was born in the Netherlands, surrounded by boats. His first woodworking experience came at the local wharf, where he was not-so-gently taught Basic Handtools 101. He moved to the United States in 1968 (a “romantic story”, says Jaap- you’ll have to ask him yourself!), and completed his undergraduate degree in sculpture. After working in a cabinet shop, being a partner in a custom door/window company, and supervising at a production door company, he started his own custom furniture company.
In 2007, Jaap moved to Port Townsend. While he occasionally still designs for clients in California, for the past 5 years he has focused primarily on his first passion: sculpture.
Jaap sees furniture as functional sculpture, in which one’s personality is expressed in shapes and colors.
The creative process is the heart of woodworking for Jaap: coming up with an idea and seeing it coming alive. As he put it, “It’s magic! (Even after all those years!)”
Jaap created the design and built the prototype for the Porch Furniture Project that the School recently completed for the Fort Worden PDA.
We are incredibly appreciative of Jaap's creativity and generosity, and are pleased to present him with the 2016 Founders’ Award.