Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Accessible Holiday Ideas, Part 1: Crafts from the Pacific Northwest–The Blind Woodsman

by Daniel Parker, RDPFS Intern

Known on TikTok as “The Blind Woodsman” and covered in a previous Bulletin as part of a holiday gift roundup, John Furniss along with his wife Annie, a mixed-media artist, is once again preparing handmade crafts which you can use as accessible gifts this season. Blinded at age16 due to personal issues, he had to learn how to navigate blindness as a teenager, although his true healing began years later. He now shares his views on blindness, art, and mental health on his social media and uses his previous vision as inspiration for his projects. The Furnisses met while he was finishing piano repair school and she was volunteering as an artist in the school’s fundraising efforts, and John accidentally put his hand on a piano Annie was painting while it was still wet. Now ten years married, art is a full-time job for both. John deals primarily with woodwork, while Annie works with wood, clay, paper, paint and more. The couple sell a variety of crafts ranging from garlands to ornaments to bowls, and even an ash honey pot with an optional wooden bee added. The two will be restocking their online store on Sunday, November 27, 2022 at 10 am PT (1  pm ET). If interested, marking your calendar is a good idea; items tend to go quickly. Be aware that the Furnisses do not take custom orders or pre-orders, and they ship only within the United States. Here is the link to their store and their stories. You can also find links to The Blind Woodman’s social media accounts and subscribe to his newsletter on the above website.