Stack + Co.
Architecture + Construction
Stack + Co. provides Architecture
and Construction for high-end homes
and local, cult food and beverage
brands including Bon Me, Night Shift
Brewing, and Downeast Cider.
Visit stackac.com to learn more.
Apair of ancient sneakers hangs from cabinetmaker John Cam- eron’s band saw, itself a cast- iron relic from another era. “To remind me I can never fill my
master’s shoes,” Cameron says about the
footwear once owned by his teacher, James
Krenov. It’s been almost a quarter-century since Cameron took a two-year leave
of absence from Bim Skala Bim, a Boston-based ska band where he played keyboard
and saxophone, to study under Krenov at the
College of the Redwoods in California, and 17
years since he left the band altogether to follow his heart into fine cabinetry.
It was a shift in craft but not of style,
since Krenov’s woodworking philosophy
was similar to jamming in music: A cabi-
netmaker should stay open to improvisa-
tion and go where the wood takes him or her.
Krenov even preferred the term “compos-
ing” to “designing,” so now, instead of riff-
ing with band members, Cameron’s music
is just between him and his composition.
Toiling solo in his workshop in Gloucester,
Massachusetts, with only his dog, Savan-
nah, as his audience, he begins with pencil
and paper at his drafting table, drawing a
piece of furniture that will soon become so
alive to him, it will eventually have not just
a name but a gender as well. Then, working
empirically, not following rigid plans, he con-
structs the piece with cardboard and scraps
of wood to learn how the elements interact
in three dimensions. “Unlike architecture,”
says Cameron, “you can mock up furniture
in full scale.” In this way, he can test pieces
for technical strength, aesthetic appearance,