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Virginia furniture maker wins Cartouche Award


The Society of American Period Furniture Makers recently announced James R. (Ray) Journigan, Sr., owner of The Colonial Craftsman in Virginia Beach, Va., as its 2018 Cartouche Award recipient.

The annual award is given to a craftsperson who has demonstrated a lifetime of making an extensive number of exceptional furniture pieces using traditional period-style methods. Journigan fit the bill with over 200 pieces of museum quality work to his credit.

“I have always admired the people who have won the award. People say I’m modest because I’ve never considered myself to be in that class, but I guess other people do. To be in this category is just amazing,” says Journigan.

He was also considered for his teaching and mentoring experience, something SAPFM encourages since its mission is to increase awareness and appreciation of American period furniture.

“The actual award is not necessarily about making period furniture. It’s about that passion for making it that you’re willing to share that information with other people,” says Journigan. “I’ve done a lot of demonstrations. I’ve got something coming up for the local chapter of a SAPFM group. I’ve taught carving and furniture techniques in my shop and places like Woodcraft and other locations.

“What the society is trying to do is preserve that time-honored tradition of how furniture was back then, and it doesn’t have to be in a period style. You can apply those techniques and joinery to contemporary pieces and they should last 200 years.”

Journigan has been making furniture for over 40 years. He started woodworking at 14, inspired by his father, a finish carpenter. From 1988 to 2013, he served his city as a fireman and state and country as part of various FEMA teams.

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