Tom Dolese was born on the Navaho Reservation in the small town of Ganado, Arizona. At a relatively young age, he moved to Anchorage, Alaska with his family.
Tom studied Mathematics, Environmental Geology and Geophysics at Western Washington University. Tom's geophysics work led to doing research in Yellowstone Park and it was there, on his days off, that he built a small scribe-fit log cabin. As he was working on the cabin, especially the interior of the cabin, he realized that he was more interested in creating furniture than the study of Geophysics.
In 1986, Tom started designing and building furniture and in a few years became a full-time furniture maker.
Currently, Tom builds commission pieces in Bellingham, Washington. He has four bench stations in his shop where he teaches a variety of woodworking classes. He also builds and sells a horizontal mortising machine.
Tom’s wife, Jennifer, does leaded glass and marquetry work. The two of them make up Terra Firma Design and they collaborate on lighting and furniture pieces. Their daughter, Alex, builds furniture in Bozeman, Montana and occasionally helps out teaching classes.
Jennifer and Tom’s work can be viewed at www.terrafirmadesignnw.com.