Randy S. Wilkinson was born in Connecticut and now lives in an 18thC. house in Norwich. Initially earning a degree in electrical engineering, he left the field in 1988 to pursue the art of 18thC. furniture reproductions. The path was not straightforward. He spent time working as a cabinetmaker and in the field of 18th-century house restoration. In 1996, he was admitted to the Smithsonian Institution’s Furniture Conservation Training Program, where he earned his Master’s degree in furniture conservation in 2000. His work is represented in museums and private collections throughout the country. He blends his love for building outstanding examples of America’s best furniture with conserving some of our national treasures. He is currently Principal and partner in the firm Fallon & Wilkinson, LLC.
It was during his time at the Smithsonian that he discovered his intense interest in wood identification. Under the guidance of Mel Wachowiak, Jr. and Dr. Bruce Hoadley he learned to see wood in a whole new way.
Thirty five years later, he brings a unique perspective to the subject of wood. As an engineer, furniture conservator, and student of wood, his insights into the microscopic nature of wood reach across the professions to furnituremakers, conservators, curators, and beyond. His current research, in conjunction with the Yale University Art Gallery, is attempting to separate the three species of mahogany using chemical and elemental techniques.
He frequently lectures, writes, and teaches about wood identification, furniture conservation, and woodworking.