Bruce Beeken | Jeff Parsons
Our Experience

Bruce & Jeff

Jeff Parsons

Jeff, a native of Winchester, MA, was born in 1956. "A childhood interest in doing things with my hands was always encouraged at home. My paternal grandfather was a commercial artist and my father is a lapidary (cuts precious and semi-precious stones). Growing up, my passions were hiking and woodcarving. In 1973 two friends and I hiked the Long Trail through Vermont's Green Mountains from Canada to Massachusetts, my introduction to Vermont.

The Program in Artisanry at Boston University was just getting started in 1975. My fate was sealed following a slide show given by Jere Osgood and Dan Jackson, the two furniture professors at BU PIA. I have vivid recollections of seeing their furniture and feeling as if a door to some secret room had been opened.

The first Beeken Parsons job was for a house on Lake Winnipesaukee in NH. Bruce and I commuted to the job by boat, a 16' Peterborough with an 18-horse Evinrude.

It took several years to develop our design protocol; design is very personal. There were several tense moments during the first few design disagreements. However, the process that has evolved results in thoroughly resolved pieces that reflect both of us.

Going to the lumberyard has always been fascinating: the excitement of a new project, the intrigue of new material, and the charm of the sheds. Each of my children has scrambled up the ladders to the upper racks with a tape measure to help. Sawing logs into boards is the lumberyard experience multiplied by a factor of two. Each new face of board is fresh and unique. Sawing a group of logs can be like Christmas morning.

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