S. Lloyd Natof grew up on a small farm in northern Virginia. His last two years of high school were spent at Sandy Spring Friends School where he discovered what would be an abiding appreciation of the arts and began to consider the role they might play in his life.

Summer of 1983 found him moving to Chicago to be with a sweetheart and attend college. During his first year at the University of Chicago he decided to pursue music and spent the next two years practicing. In 1986 he entered the DePaul School of Music as a Jazz Studies (flute) major. It was in his second to last year there that he started building furniture- mostly pieces for himself with an occasional commission. The experience of working in a tactile medium was immediately satisfying and he began to set up his own shop.

After 23 years of renting an old industrial space in the West Loop of Chicago, Lloyd bought and renovated a new shop space in 2011. His new studio for furniture design and woodworking is in Oak Park, Illinois and he is continuing his commissioned work for private collectors, architects and corporations.

In 1995, Lloyd bought his first press and now specializes in veneered furniture and casework, selecting and applying the wood veneer himself.

“I am very drawn to burls and other non-linear grain patterns that allow for the creation of volumes- the possibility is a cabinet or table pure in expression of shape and volume, free from the tyranny of the plank.

My current work uses assembled rectangles of veneer and blocks of solid wood in the manner of masonry; I’m searching for ways to articulate the relationship between the surface and the volume of a structure. If veneer is merely skin deep, the challenge is to use it in ways that suggest something more, something with depth and mass.”