(frequently asked questions)
*content warning, sensitive topics are discussed*
How did John become blind?
At the age of 16, John attempted suicide and lost both his sense of smell and his sight. He shares his story now in the hopes it will lessen the stigma of talking about mental health challenges. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to someone you trust or call or text 988, a 24 hour Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
Why are John's eyes closed?
Because of the way John became blind (from a gunshot), the nerves in his eyelids became permanently damaged and he cannot open them. His optic nerves were also permanently damaged which caused total blindness. His blindness cannot be repaired with surgery.
How did John get into woodworking?
After he became blind, John struggled with meth addiction for a few years. He felt lost and hopeless. After becoming clean from meth, he attended a school for the blind in Salt Lake City that offered woodworking classes. His teacher, Chris Hathaway, was also blind and they became fast friends. Chris mentored John after the class ended and taught him woodturning on a lathe. Woodworking gave John direction and focus away from his mental health and drug challenges. Chris and John remain good friends to this day.
How did John and Anni meet?
Check the "Our Story" page!
How does John identify the different wood types he uses?
Anni helps him identify the wood and John marks the ends with a tactile tool (a marking gauge) and he keeps them organized in piles by type (or tries to!). He also has an amazing memory and can remember by the shape, thickness or uniqueness of the boards or pieces of wood.
Does he get lots of splinters?
The short answer is yes! But he has thick callouses from woodworking and using his hands so often, so the splinters are generally not very painful for him. Either he pulls them out or Anni helps him.
Where did John get his necklace that he's always wearing?
John's brother was gifted the pendant by a Maori gentleman he met in Australia (the pendant is from New Zealand). After John lost his sight, his brother gave it to him. It is a symbol of protection beloved by the Maori people. John has been wearing it for over 20 years.
What is the tattoo that John has?
He has a tattoo of the Eye of Horus on the palm of his hand. He says he has an eye on his palm because "His hands are his eyes." The Eyes of Horus is a sacred symbol of well-being, healing, and protection in ancient Egyptian culture.
Where can mail or cards be sent?
Firstly, thank you! Gifts or cards can be sent to
John and Anni Furniss
PO Box 717 Washougal, WA 98671
When do you restock your online store?
We restock every 2-3 weeks, always on a Sunday at 10am Pacific Time. We always post the next restock date on our main page towards the top and on our contact page. You can also find the restock dates in the profile pages of John's Instagram and TikTok pages.
Where can I follow you on social media?
Both Anni and John have social media. John can be found on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. Anni can be found on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. They share a BuyMeaCoffee page here. You can also sign up for our newsletter (we send it about one or two times a month) at the top of the page. In our newsletter we send life updates, stories and photos of our artwork!
Ways to support John and Anni?
First of all, thank you for all of your support! Currently, we sell our artwork and merch on our online store. We also have a BuyMeaCoffee Page where you can support us by signing up for a monthly or one time contribution. You can also interact with our social media pages! So far, we don't really earn much on social media, but we are hoping that will change as we grow. We are in the process of finding other ways to thrive and will let you know when those come to fruition!
Do Anni or John do custom/commission work?
No, neither of us do special requests or pre-orders.
Do you do International shipping?
At this time we don't offer International shipping.
What types of adaptive tools does John use in the wood shop?
Really the only adaptive tool he uses is something called a Rotomatic. It is a tactile measuring tool specially made for blind/low vision people. He does have adaptive techniques he uses, however. A couple of them are marking pieces of wood with a tactile marking tool and another is that he puts his hand on the lathe while it's spinning (do not try this!) otherwise he says it would "look like a blind guy made it." 😆 He also uses a Saw Stop table saw, which is a saw that stops if his finger accidentally should touch the blade.