Farewell to Aled Lewis

Written by Chelsea Van Voorhis on .

Following ten years as Lead Instructor of our Nine-month Comprehensive program, Aled Lewis is returning to Wales to begin the next chapter in his exemplary career as a designer, furniture maker, and teacher. His breadth of knowledge and generosity of spirit have left a lasting mark.

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Image: Aled and Kelpie on the steps of the CFC library.

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Image: Idris Hall Stand by Aled Lewis (2012).


“Aled taught with incredible generosity, honesty, and a firm belief that if we seek to be furniture-makers then we should do so seriously, with professionalism and diligence. Short cuts and after-thoughts are for “also-rans;” the rest of us have work to do.”

-Owain Harris, Co-Instructor

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Image Right: David Upfill-Brown and Aled Lewis (2004).


“I feel privileged to have been followed by Aled. The current graduate exhibition achieves a marque that reflects the ongoing development of a course by which all others are judged.”

-David Upfill-Brown, Comprehensive Lead Instructor from 2004-2009

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I continue to ask myself: "What would Aled say?"

-Michael Danchak, Comprehensive alumnusaled blog4

Image: Pi Stool by Aled Lewis (2014).aled blogclass1

“I used to think CFC was amazing because of the setting, equipment, and facilities. Over the years, I’ve realized that it’s the people. I’ve learned more and been inspired more and taken on more projects that I had no business taking on, because of Aled, and I thank him for that.”

-Lee Zamir, previous Fellow

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Image: CFC Board President David Ingram presents Aled with a plaque (and a Lie-Nielsen workbench for his new workshop in Wales).


“He has truly made his mark as a superb instructor, mentor, colleague, and friend. More than 125 students in the nine-month program have had the benefit, over 10 years, of Aled’s quiet, meticulous mentorship.”

-David Ingram, CFC Board President

aled blog pt28 Image: Dyfi Bench by Aled Lewis (2017).

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“In this environment, where so many people come to focus on learning one thing, the cooperation of students, staff, and co-instructors creates an energy which is overwhelming. That’s why this place is probably the best in the world. I’m thankful to my students for coming here, and to Peter for inviting me… it’s a really special place indeed.”

-Aled Lewis

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Image: Slipmatch Desk by Aled Lewis (2008).

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We asked people for their favorite ‘Aled-ism…”

“Gluing end grain is just for emotional support.”

“That looks like a dog’s dinner.”

“Cheap as chips.”

“I’m being idle as a cow’s tail here.”

“Sharper than a sharp thing.”

“People do things to chairs that they shouldn’t do to dogs.”

“The tree you’re looking for has not started growing yet.”

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“Ten years ago, when the Lead Instructor position opened up, Aled was our top choice to fill it. Why? Because of his decades of experience in both commercial production and bespoke commissions, his generosity of spirit in working toward each student’s success, and his collegial approach to teaching with co-instructors, among other reasons.”

-Peter Korn, CFC Executive Director