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Profile: Mike Dunbar
Dot Mike Dunbar

Say the words Windsor Chair and most people immediately think of Mike Dunbar.... for a good reason. Mike Dunbar is the pioneer who started the Windsor revival by resurrecting handmade chairmaking, a craft that had been dead for 150 years.

Fine Woodworking called him the Windsor Guru. Yankee magazine referred to him as The Dean of Windsor Chairmakers. Woodworkers Journal dubbed him The Crown Prince of Windsors.

A chairmaker since 1971, Mike has written seven books. He published his first one in 1974 when he was 27 years old. He has also authored countless magazine articles. He has been a contributing editor for Fine Woodworking, American Woodworker and Early American Homes magazines. Before founding The Windsor Institute, Mike was a popular speaker and teacher and appeared at locations all over the country. Mike has been featured many times on television, most recently on Martha Stewart Living, The Woodwright’s Shop and New Yankee Workshop. Both The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have published front page articles about him. He has been featured in numerous magazines, including Country Living, Early American Homes, Yankee, Woodworker’s Journal, and Woodshop News.

Thanks to Mike, Windsor chairmaking is alive and well, and thanks to him it continues to grow. All of the best Windsor chairmakers working around the world today were taught by Mike, either learning at his side or through his writing.

Profile: Sue Dunbar

Sue Dunbar

Sue Dunbar is the co-founder and director of The Windsor Institute.

She is its heart and soul, and it is no exaggeration to say that she built The Institute. Not only was the school her idea and concept, but when we were building our new facilities she acted as the general contractor! She remains in charge of the buildings and grounds which are always carefully maintained and groomed. Throughout the year, Sue has the staff change the decorations on our buildings to match the season.

Sue manages The Institute's staff and continues to direct our development and growth. Mike frequently says, “I have the best deal going... Sue does all the work and I get all the glory”. Everyone working here consults with Sue on a daily basis. She is most often found in the office, but during classes she makes frequent tours of the classroom to meet the students and to be sure they are having a great experience.

Before marrying Mike, Sue was a marketing consultant. She was also a political consultant and ran a number of successful campaigns. She has had her own television show. Sue now puts these talents to work for The Institute and is why we have been featured in so many media outlets. Sue also shares her talents and knowledge with others. Students who are contemplating going professional, frequently consult with her. She recently shared her marketing and business advice with woodworkers in a Fine Woodworking article titled “Going Pro: A Common Dream but a Difficult Reality”.

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