Timber Artisans LLC is a partnership between Peter McGinnis and Bruno Sutter. The pair have a combined professional experience of 30 years in wooden design and construction. They are skilled and experienced in preliminary study, design, calculation, joinery detail, shop layout, fabrication and erection for: traditional timber framing, conventional framing, glu-lam, restoration, straight/winder/curved/spiral staircases, and custom mill work. Their experience and knowledge can be accredited to their remarkable education and training as well as the diversity of professional positions held, many of which include management. The two have traveled the world working for notable companies that have shaped them into the experts they are today. Both men are as passionate about their profession as they are skilled, with a body of work that exemplifies their knowledge and love of the craft. They both believe strongly that their work speaks for itself regardless of their training and education. Nonetheless we'd still like you to read their professional profiles below for a more detailed summary of their individual training and experience.
Bruno grew up in Eastern France and received his education through the Compagnon du Devoir, which is an elite French organization of craftsman and artisans dating as far back as the middle ages. Their traditional, technical education includes taking a tour as they learn their trade, the Tour de France. They travel around the world working for reputable companies recognized by the Compagnon. After the tour, applicants can receive their title of Compagnon (equivalent to a masters degree) if they have met all the necessary requirements. Bruno entered the program in his teenage years and after 2 years received the Certificat d'Aptitude Professionelle, which is a diploma in France for basic trade qualification. After this achievement, he began his Tour de France and traveled all over the world working for various companies . Over a period of 8 years Bruno transitioned from apprentice, to journeyman, and then master. During that 8 years he worked in areas of design, layout, cutting, and raising of traditional timber frame, glu-lam, and conventionally framed structures. He also participated in restoration projects and staircase construction. In addition to his work, he furthered his education and training by participating in workshops where he gained certificates in statics engineering, historic building preservation and restoration, material bending strength, roof dormers, etc. In March of 2001 he received the Certificat de Perfectionnement Professionel establishing himself as a professional in France. Bruno then went on to work as a site and shop foreman for Bruteul, where he oversaw the restoration of several church steeples dating as far back as the 15th century. He also provided supervision for new commercial building construction during this time. He left the company in France after about a year and then traveled to the US to work for a company in New Hampshire. Bruno worked there for about 14 months as a job captain in charge of layout, cutting, and raising of all complex structures involving compound members (hip and valley rafters). In 2003 he traveled back to France where he worked part-time teaching for the Compagnon du Devoir as a timber frame instructor with a 98% success rate for his students. From 2003-2005 Bruno worked part time for two other companies while teaching. He was an estimator for Veron-Diet, where he worked on time and material estimation for over 250 residential and commercial wooden structures. He also worked part time as a Cadwork designer for Synergie Bois, where he produced 3d and 2d drawings for various timber frame companies. Projects ranged from traditional timber framed structures to commercial glu-lam structures and everything in between. In October of 2004 Bruno received his Brevet Professionnel Charpentier. This is an advanced certificate equivalent to a masters degree in wooden design/construction. In 2005 Bruno moved back to the US to work for the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, SC. He is the head of the wood department and a professor of timber framing and carpentry. Bruno wrote the entire 4 year curriculum for the timber framing program as well as parts of the carpentry curriculum. He continues to teach at ACBA today. Over the past 9 years he has done free lance work for timber frame companies, architects, and private clients throughout Europe, North America, and Central America. This brings us to his role today as co-owner of Timber Artisans LLC. His knowledge, experience, and accomplishments are the backbone of this company. If our pictures don't convince you to use us for your next project, we hope his experience and expertise will. To get to know Bruno on a more personal level click here - "Meet the Owners"
Peter grew up in Greenville, South Carolina and began building furniture at age 14 with his father in their garage. During his high school education Peter spent 3 years attending carpentry/general construction courses at a local vocational facility. Upon his high school graduation he had an impressive portfolio of furniture and built projects including the restoration of a home affected by hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. After high school, he moved to Charleston to attend the American College of the Building Arts. ACBA offers a 4 year BS in applied science specializing in a building trade. The college offers a unique education experience, combining liberal arts and trade specific training. In order to complete the program 3 apprenticeships with approved companies must be completed during summer months. Peter majored in timber framing under the direction of professors Bruno Sutter, Frank Genello, Michael Letendard, and Daryl Weiser, receiving one of the most well rounded education/training experiences in the country. Over the course of 4 years he also became proficient in hand drafting, Auto-cad, Sketchup, Photoshop, and Cadwork as well as establishing fluency in Spanish. In and out of the classroom he gained knowledge and honed his skills in all aspects of carpentry and timber framing. During his 4 years in school he worked part time for American Building Restorations as a carpenter on historic homes in downtown Charleston. During his first summer apprenticeship he worked for Michael Letendard (Compagnon) fabricating 85 mortise and tenon casement windows for Charlestons famous 18th century jail building. This gave him excellent experience in custom mill work, entailed layout, jig making, shop production, and assembly techniques. His second summer internship was in Costa Rica working for a custom home company. Along with Bruno Sutter, he worked on a custom timber framed home as a joiner. He was involved in the layout, cutting, and raising as well as assisting in the training of local labor. After his summer apprenticeship ended, he returned to Costa Rica during his spring break. He was hired to finish an additional timber frame portion of the project by the same company . His 3rd apprenticeship was with Wood Aesthetics here in Charleston, where he worked as a joiner/carpenter on a timber frame project entailing a breezeway, sun porch, and pool pavilion in Maryland. During his senior year, he also worked for Arris Building Group in upstate New York, where he was in charge of the layout and cutting of compound roof system members. During the same year, he returned to Costa Rica for a month to fabricate and erect another timber frame project in a different region. Peter graduated in spring of 2012 with a BS in applied science specialized in timber frame construction. He received the "Herbert A. Costa Jr. Award," presented to artisans with superior skills in the best traditions of craftsmanship. He also received the "Founders Achievement Award" from the Guild of Colonial Artisans and Tradesman for outstanding achievement in the study of architectural craftsmanship and preservation. After graduating from ACBA he took a job in Pennsylvania for a reputable timber frame company. During his time there, he participated in 30 major timber frame projects, commercial and residential. One of the many notable projects included a timber frame addition to George Washington's Library in Mt. Vernon, VA. Peter left the company in 2013 and moved back to South Carolina for a family matter. Later in 2013 he teamed back up with Bruno and traveled to Costa Rica for another project where he worked as a project manager for 6 months. From 2013 until Timber Artisans was formed Peter worked free lance in Charleston, SC working on restoration projects, custom mill work, timber frames, etc. To get to know Peter on a more personal level click here - "Meet the Owners"