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The apprenticeship of a woodworker begins at childhood and ends with his last breath.

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Benjamin Jack Prowell
March 2012
ben prowell


Accessorized with an Illinois apron and hammer belonging to previous generations.



Finally, an apron that fits him.

Ben Prowell  
ben prowell woodworking




Building something. Who knows what. But he has his own toolbox and his own leather apron and his own hammer. Building something.

ben prowell




Watching and learning.
He would spend endless hours doing just this--watching it done once, and then seldom forgetting.

ben and charles prowell



Tolstoy's Anne Karanina and Too Hot to Handle





Blue ribbon winner at the Sonoma County Fair for his redwood table

ben prowell furniture at 8




On-site installation for one of the original fence styles #1 in Ross, CA



Three houses down the same street, setting the gate hinges.





The generational continuum of one apprentice to another
(Ben Prowell and cousin Parker Prowell).



Parker Prowell, finishing his bench






With his older brother Sam Prowell, on the right, for a family gathering at the Beach Chalet in San Francisco





Considering a procedure






At work on gate Style #51 for an historic Georgetown site in Washington, DC






Ben and Parker





A marketer's dream: Five Prowells in the shop at once. Ben giving a few of his cousins a little time in the shop.
Left to right: Jackson, Ben, Parker, Asa, and Soren.





Coming up with a new Patio Table and Bench product




A typical Gate subjected to Quality Control Test #32---the Sonoma coast





Geared up with his headphones for music and ear protection; his high tech battery operated dust filter; and the special woodworker's gloves.

ben prowell



The Jaguar's caliper-like hands at work
ben prowell




ben prowell



Showing an in-progress of Prowell's 2-teired Post Cap.
And the finished assembly.

ben prowell   post cap





Founded in the mid-1800's as a vocational institute for immigrants, the school remains in the same building in Boston's historic North End. Considered by many as the nation's most prestigious furniture-making guild, while also offering a curriculum in violin-making; and traditional timber carpentry.

North Bennet Srteet School



On the rooftop in Boston's North End. An area used, among other things, to expose clamped glue-ups to the sun and air.
ben prowell at North Bennet Street, boston




The first visit. The second visit lasted a week during late October of the same year and ended, not surprisingly, with the arrival of the first nor'easterly of the season. Charles instantly took flight to the temperate west coast.

north bennet street--ben prowell




The third floor shop, reserved for second-year students.

north bennet street woodworking

Below, two pieces created at North Bennett Street



The Demi Lune Table.
Walnut. Lakewood.



The Serpentine Table

demi lune table  




December 2011

Returning from Boston, Ben drives cross country yet again. In Colorado he is joined by his older brother, the inimitable Sam Prowell. They detour the last stretch by visiting Bozeman, Montana, below. Then on to Idaho to cross the panhandle following the Lewis and Clark route to drop down for a visit with their Aunt Sarah Prowell in Portland, and down the northern Californian coast.

sam and ben prowell



June 2012
In June Ben returned to his beloved Boston to rekindle a few friendships and attend graduation.

The North Bennett Street graduation ceremonies were held at Boston's historic North Church, next door to the school and built in 1723-- the oldest standing church in Boston. Known to most as where, in 1775, the church sexton climbed the steeple and held two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British had were marching to Lexington. Two lanterns, as by earlier arrangement, in the phrase you will all recognize: One if by land, Two if by Sea

Below, the graduates linger in the family pew boxes. Originally, families had to purchase the pew boxes on a grading scale, with those at the front and center aisle being the more expensive than those in the rear and upper galleries. As long as the dues were paid, the families had exclusive use of their boxes, and would decorate them with fine fabrics and furnishings as an indication of social status. Families arriving in the colonies late might also reserve a more expensive pew in the front, and when available, essentially move up in society. Hence, some of the more notable citizens, such as British General Cage, had to sit in the far rear pew.

Below, Ben peering up, among a few of the graduates gathered in typical pew boxes.

north bennet street school graduation

June 2012
There are several craftsmanship schools within North Bennett Street. Here, Ben with those fellow graduates from the Fine Furniture-making curriculum.

But also present are those graduates representing: Violin-Making; Bookbinding, Jewelry-Making; Locksmithing; Preservation Carpentry; Piano Technology

historic North Church in Boston

December 2015





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for the full PDF article

Sonoma County's Press Democrat

Click here for the full pdf download

Landscape Architecture Magazine

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Woodwork Magazine

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Somewhere, somehow, within this contraption hides a glorious secret.





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©1996-Present Charles and Ben Prowell.
This Web Site was launched in the Spring of 1996.

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Unless otherwise noted, products appearing on this site are the sole design rights of Charles & Ben Prowell.