Ryan Mails's passion for woodworking started before he was ten years old. "When I was eight, I begged for a first pocket-knife and carved a model of the Mary-Rose, the English warship that sank in 1545," he says. The North Carolina–based craftsman began his studio, Mails Woodwork, about four years ago and produces pieces that celebrate traditional furniture-making methods. Through pursuing a career in academia Mails began to track the early architecture of the south. He also had the good fortune to apprentice with a relative who was a master of architectural wood working. "I learned to use the sorts of tools they had used, and fell in the love with a way of working wood that was visceral and ultimately dependent on the body and a sharp edge," says Mails. This led him to devote his time to craft. Below, we share four of his designs that reflect a modern sensibility with time-tested building techniques.