I was born in Virginia in 1944. My father designed and built houses when I was a child. He was gifted at building complicated, period furniture reproductions. From this exposure, I developed a passionate interest in furniture design. We shared our interest in furniture until his death in 1982.
I studied furniture design at Virginia Commonwealth University. There I was fortunate to study with Joe Disteffano and Alfonse Mattia. I attended Penland School of Crafts. I did a week-long course in furniture design at Berea College conducted by Sam Maloof. I have met and been influenced by Wendell Castle, James Krenoff and George Nagashima.
Since the 1970s, I have run Tom Wessells Furniture, a business dedicated primarily to design and construction of one of a kind and limited production studio furniture. My work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the Mid Atlantic region as well as New York. I have pieces in numerous private, commercial, and institutional collections. My work has been published in design magazines, architectural magazines and various other books and periodicals.
I am represented in several galleries. In recent years, I started becoming involved in craft fairs. I recently returned from the 30th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington D. C. This was a highly selective show/fair that I was surprised and delighted to have been accepted. I was also delighted that five pieces were sold at the Show.