Fabien Dubrunfaut was born in 1956 in Tourcoing, Northern France. His earliest indication of an artistic future came before high school when he was advised that he could draw. Drawing would remain the foundation and wellspring for all his artisanship to come.
After high school Dubrunfaut studied architecture at Ecole d'Architecture de Lille, but, disappointed by the lack of creative/artistic vision in the courses, and eager to make things rather than talking about them, switched to woodworking in 1978. His first professional experience came in Revel, a traditional location of furniture and marquetry fabrication in the south of France. There he received broad-based technical instruction in all aspects of the trade, including furniture design. After an accelerated apprenticeship back in Northern France, he spent the next several years working in various small shops, a journeyman woodworker.
Dubrunfaut came to the United States in 1985 and landed with a small company run by a group of wood artisans in Philadelphia, all graduates of what would become the University of the Arts. His solid technical training was evident as he excelled at producing architectural millwork and cabinetry. But the biggest asset in his working there was access to the shop after hours, when he could indulge in his personal furniture projects.
In 1991 the company closed, and Fabien struck out on his own. He also got married that same year. Though his focus was on personal design projects, and after a few sales through the short-lived Philadelphia Furniture Guild, the financial demands of having a young family steered the business towards commercial architectural millwork and high-end residential cabinetry.
Fab Dubrunfaut Woodworking worked with some of the best-known architects and designers on projects in Philadelphia, New York, and elsewhere on the East Coast.
In 2019, Dubrunfaut decided to sell his business. With his two sons having graduated from college, the time seemed right for the “next phase”. He closed his business and rented space with a woodworking colleague, to circle back to his long-delayed dream: design and fabricate one-of-kind pieces of furniture.
He is also currently converting an old school house in a tiny medieval village in Southern France, where he has family nearby, into a home-away-from-home, with an eventual wood shop for him, and art studio for his wife.
Now at last Fabien can give free rein to his passion: bringing his drawings from concept to completion, with a special focus on the Chair, the most challenging of all.
Fabien Dubrunfaut's furniture is exquisitely made from carefully selected American hardwoods, with strong and precise exposed joinery, and inviting sculptural surfaces
With his recent series, Fabien Dubrunfaut takes his drawings from concept to completion, with a special focus on seating. Dubrunfaut’s furniture is made from carefully selected American hardwoods, featuring strong and precise exposed joinery. His work is sculptural and exceptionally comfortable.
Materials: Walnut, metal rods and upholstery.