John K. Spicer began his career crafting reproductions of 19th century furniture in the 1980s. According to Spicer, he had always been impressed by the craftsmanship of the period antiques and the history behind them.
"Most of the early cabinetmakers were farmers, the town's mortician building caskets when needed. Some were joiners who had traveled to America from England and reinterpreted the style popular with the British for American homes," says Spicer. "They used only the tools they had, obviously no electric tools-everything was done by hand from the cutting to the planing to the carving . . ."
Spicer set out to learn to recreate those valuable antiques in the same manner that they were originally built. Over the years he has, admittedly, been kicked out of every major museum furniture exhibit along the east coast. Apparently the museum security is not amenable to patrons removing drawers to view the underside or crawling behind valuable pieces on display.
Soon, John K Spicer & Son Cabinetmakers was doing a booming and highly profitable business. That name became synonymous with exceptional craftsmanship with attention to detail and finishes that were exquisite in their authenticity.
Spicer's furniture was featured in the movie "Kingpin" starring Woody Harrelson. The Amish home of Randy Quaid's character in the film was furnished by Spicer.
Spicer has also built furniture for the White House and was showcased in "The Encyclopedia of Country Furniture" published by the Michael Friedman Publishing Group. He has been honored numerous times in Early American Life Magazine's Directory of Fine Craftsmen.
Spicer was also half of the creative team, along with Redware Artisan, Greg Shooner, whose birdhouse for the Heritage Center of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania's Purple Martin House Project broke all auction records for a piece of contemporary folk art, selling for $21, 500.
Spicer is a 1979 graduate of Kings High School in Kings Mill, Ohio. His family has lived in the South Lebanon area since he was born in 1961. He and his family live in an 1811 farmhouse, one of the oldest in the village of South Lebanon.