Paul Rulli at age ten was well on his way to developing a lifelong interest in the history, culture, art, and temperament of colonial America. Born and raised within walking distance of Old Sturbridge Village, he was a frequent visitor and eager student.
Granted access to his fatherís warehouse and tools, his love of woodworking and using antique tools merged to create a desire to build period furniture with traditional methods.
Rulli earned a degree in civil engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. Years later, this training proved an asset in his careful renderings and attention to detail in making period furniture. While working as an engineer, he continued to study 17th- and 18th-Century furniture, its makers, and local influences so he could make furniture appropriate for the two antique homes he restored.
He became a full-time period furniture maker in 1998 when he opened his shop in a former New England factory. His work is characterized by hand-cut dovetails, crisply carved ball and claw feet, shells, flame finials, vine work, and open fretwork. He offers standard pieces or custom designs in cherry, mahogany, and maple, finished in the customerís stain and color preference. He can reproduced a custom piece from a photo, historical reference, or personal design. Although self-taught in cabinet making and joinery, he continues to attend classes and view museum collections to inform his work.
Rulli is a member of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers and has been listed for several years in the Directory of Traditional American Crafts. He lives with his wife, Lynn, in a period home in Woodstock, Connecticut.
Artists appearing in the 20201 Directory of Traditional American Crafts have been selected, and the best of their handiwork has been photographed at Cedar Grove, an 18th Century house museum operated by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Look for the Directory in our August 2021 issue.
1,841 days until America's Sestercentennial
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