Tage Frid

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Tage Frid
Born 30 May 1915
Died 6 May 2004
Newport, RI, USA
Occupation Professor of Woodworking
Known for Modern Design

Tage Frid (1915–2004) was a Danish-born woodworker who influenced the development of the studio furniture movement in the United States.

Early life[edit]

Son of a silversmith, at the age of 13, he started a five-year apprenticeship in Copenhagen followed by work in cabinet shops; worked for nearly a decade at the Royal Danish Cabinetmakers,[1] then spent time in Iceland before immigrating to the United States in 1948 at the request of the American Craft Council.[1]

Later career[edit]

Frid headed the program in woodworking of the School for American Craftsmen in Alfred, New York; later moving with this program to Rochester Institute of Technology. In 1962 he became professor of Woodworking and Furniture Design at the Rhode Island School of Design, remaining until 1985.

When teaching, he emphasized a craftsman's need to learn all the available tools and methods one could use to complete a given task. Thus, the person can work in any shop situation and produce the same quality. Frid's students include noted American studio furniture makers such as Hank Gilpin, Jere Osgood, Alphonse Mattia, William Keyser, John Dunnigan, and Rosanne Somerson.

He was an editor of Fine Woodworking magazine from its inception in 1975 to his death.[1]

In 2001, Tage Frid was honored by The Furniture Society with its Award of Distinction. The Permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston owns some of his designs, most of which represent the Danish modern style.[1]


Frid is best known for his three-volume work, "Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking". Some editions of which are published as the first two volumes in one, the third is still separate (Frid's own classic European-style workbench is detailed, in a revised and corrected version, in the third edition of this essential series):

  • Frid, Tage (2005). Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking: Three Step-by-Step Guidebooks to Essential Woodworking Techniques. Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking. Taunton Press. pp. 688 pp. + DVD. ISBN 978-1-56158-826-8. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Michael A. Stone, Contemporary American Woodworkers, Gibbs Smith, Salt Lake City UT, 1986, pp. 48–63.
  • "Tage Frid" in Edward S. Cooke Jr., Gerald W.R. Ward, and Kelly H L'Ecuyer, The Maker's Hand: American Studio Furniture, 1940–1990, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA, 2003, p. 120.


External links[edit]