Joseph Nemeth in his
garage workshop. The
tall cherry chest at right
carries a steep price tag
of $4,800 because of its
elaborate veneers and
graceful curvature. “I’m
trying to inspire people
with my work,” Nemeth
says. “Hopefully I can get
people to buy into my
Joseph Nemeth FINE ART FURNITURE
Ramsey | 917-586-7099 | tempestwoodworking.com
Joseph Nemeth had always enjoyed woodworking as a
hobby, but his career as a software developer, plus family
time with his wife and young daughter, left him little spare
time. When he suddenly found himself out of work in 2012,
time ceased to be an obstacle. “I’ve always wanted to create
something beautiful,” he says. “Being downsized gave me
Nemeth set up a garage workshop at his Ramsey home
and filled it with tools. “I’ve made a considerable invest-
ment,” he says. Wanting to create a line of what he calls
“refined and rustic” art furniture, Nemeth began drawing
designs for tables, benches and chests on his iPad. Working
with domestic woods like walnut, cherry and maple,
accented with species such as buckeye burl from the Pacific
Northwest, he carefully crafted his earliest pieces to each
be unique. When he sold his first piece in November 2013—
a table he exhibited at a fine-furnishings show in Rhode
Island—he figured he was onto something.
The learning curve was steep. “It’s been a lot of trial and
error,” Nemeth says. He studied You Tube videos and the
website finewoodworking.com, but it wasn’t enough. So he
took instruction from Frank Klausz, a renowned, Hungarian-
born, New Jersey-based master cabinetmaker .
Nemeth now works daily in his garage workshop. He
doesn’t use stains, preferring the natural beauty of wood
espoused in the arts-and-crafts style that informs many of
his pieces. That means simple, decorative pieces, emphasizing the natural qualities of the materials.
His favorite piece? The sapele and tiger-maple settee in
the photo below. “I love the curves, the arts-and-crafts style,
the peg through-tenons and the fact that the joints don’t
require glue,” he says.
At Nemeth’s second exhibition, the Philadelphia
Invitational Furniture Show in April, he sold a buckeye-burl
co;ee table. The price: $3,400.
Nemeth named his business Tempest Woodworking.
“The whole idea originated after Superstorm Sandy,” he
says. “It’s about force of change, the idea of destroying one
thing, then creating another.” It represents what he does
with wood and his changing vocation.
“I would love to do this for the next 20 years,” he says.
“It’s a real privilege.”