Shop Local: M. Jury Woodworks

Mike Jury's handcrafted furniture draws inspiration from Shaker and Japanese design.

Mike Jury’s Cherry Asa-no-ha Sideboard recently garnered a “Best in Show” award for furniture design at the 27th annual Fine Furnishings Show in Providence, Rhode Island. (Photo by Greg Staley)

Twenty-two years ago, Mike Jury taught himself woodworking from library books so that he could surprise his wife, Amanda, with a handmade oak chest for their wedding—a family tradition in New England, where she was raised. “We still have it in our bedroom, flaws and all,” he laughs. “But it’s meaningful to us both.”

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A kumiko-style lamp by M. Jury Woodworks. (Photo by Greg Staley)

He’s since refined his craft. After two decades as a trumpeter in the U.S. Army Band at Fort Myer, Jury retired in 2020 and now devotes himself full time to handcrafting heirloom furniture as M. Jury Woodworks.

His creations are graceful, functional and designed to last, inspired by woodworkers of yore.

“The Shakers were masters of proportion; there’s something elegant about the overall form and minimal design,” says the artisan, who selects local, sustainable lumber from Culpeper and uses oil and wax to highlight the wood’s natural finish.

He says he listens to the wood like a piece of music, following its movements, flourishes and pauses.

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Woodworker Mike Jury (Photo by Kevin Gebo)

Working out of a small studio in Springfield, Jury may spend up to 80 hours to complete a dresser ($3,600-$4,200), eschewing nails in favor of meticulously crafted dovetail joints.

“I really love making a chest of drawers because it’s a very complex piece,” he says. “There’s so much engineering involved. It is essentially a box full of boxes, but you have to make that beautiful as well as functional.”

Today, Jury works in a wide variety of styles. He has incorporated Japanese kumiko patterns into wooden lamps lined with shoji paper ($400), wall panels and hall tables ($900). The intricate designs are hand cut with a sharp chisel and locked together—without nails—to form a pattern.

“It’s enjoyable, meditative work,” he says. “There are no saws, no dust. Just a day at the bench.”


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