Tupper Lake, Franklin County
Adirondack Rustic Furniture Maker
“Stickman” reads the license plate on Tom Phillips’ pickup truck, a little humor that belies the real talent of this master furniture craftsman in the Adirondacks. From a multi-generation Adirondack family, and the second generation to be caretaker of an estate for seasonal residents, Tom is typical of many in the region. He is fisherman, hunter, guide, handyman, carpenter, jack of all trades. For over 25 years, however, he has been a builder of many forms and styles of Adirondack rustic furniture. Expert Craig Gilborn says Tom really represents the true Adirondack furniture tradition, following Ernest Stowe and others who worked exclusively in native woods and perfected the birch bark and twig mosaic surface decorations for which the region is known. Tom’s signature chairs, as well as hundreds of custom pieces of all types, are now in local camps and in private collections and museums far away from his native woods.