The NH Furniture Masters Annual Exhibition: A Collaboration with Kimball Jenkins
Explore the results of a summer-long collaboration between members of the NH Furniture Masters and selected artists and faculty from Kimball Jenkins as part of the NH Furniture Masters’ Annual Exhibition.
14 Furniture Masters have been paired with 28 artists to participate in a three-month artistic journey, visiting each other’s studios and learning about one another’s craft. This multi-media exhibition features a wide selection of works, from fine furniture to paintings, photographs, and poems, all inspired by the partners’ artistic relationship and time spent together.
This collaboration provided a unique opportunity to deepen the network and relationship of artists across New Hampshire and develop new relationships across mediums.
The NH Furniture Masters’ Annual Exhibition: A Collaboration with Kimball Jenkins, will be on display in the Kimball Jenkins Mansion, 266 North Main Street in Concord, NH from September 9 – October 25, 2022.
The NH Furniture Masters would like to extend a special thank you to Julianne Gadoury and the entire staff at Kimball Jenkins for your dedication to the collaboration this summer!
SPONSORS & SUPPORTERS
Sulloway & Hollis is the official corporate sponsor of the NH Furniture Masters Annual Exhibition Look Book.
Arthur D. Clarke & Co.
Mary Christine Dwyer
Jon & Lucia Evans
Jonathan Francis Garrett Hack Owain Harris
Adam & Ellen Houston-Pozek Karen Jantzen
Michael & Mary McLaughlin Elizabeth Sanders
Bill Siroty & Bill Stelling Pamela Sullivan
Drs. Ann Thomas Wilkins & David G. Wilkins
Daniel & Beverly Wolf
Robert & Nancy Wyatt
About the New Hampshire Furniture Masters
The New Hampshire Furniture Masters are a group of professional furniture artisans committed to preserving the centuries-long tradition of fine furniture making. We promote the growth and sales of fine furniture made by our members through hosting exhibitions, engaging in collaborative marketing and educational activities and partnering with museums, art organizations and galleries. The membership upholds the highest standard of quality craftsmanship through a peer-reviewed jury system.
Throughout our 25+ years as an organization, we have hosted many fundraisers and events including curating regular exhibitions at our Gallery in Concord and participating in cultural heritage celebrations such as the NH State House Bicentennial in 2019 and Senator Shaheen’s annual Experience New Hampshire expo in Washington D.C. We also strive to provide many educational opportunities within the creative economy; our Prison Outreach Program and collaboration with Kimball Jenkins School of Art are two great examples of this.
The American Furniture Masters Institute (AFMI) is the nonprofit 501(c)(3) that oversees the New Hampshire Furniture Masters Certification Program. AFMI administers educational endeavors that preserve the art of fine furniture making.
About Kimball Jenkins
Kimball Jenkins is a nonprofit community cultural center located in downtown Concord, NH. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Kimball Jenkins’ mission is to cultivate creativity, make arts education accessible, and honor historic preservation. The organization centers diverse voices and works to remove barriers to programming for traditionally marginalized communities. Located on a historic estate, Kimball Jenkins offers year round educational programming and community events.
Collaboration Partners: Catherine O’Brian, Jody Wells, Eileen Carter, Sher Kamman
Ted Blachly has been a woodworker / furniture maker for over forty years and became a juried member of The League of New Hampshire Craftsman in 1989. He also was involved in the formation of the Guild of NH Woodworkers where he met Jere Osgood in 1990. In 1993 he started to occasionally assist Jere in the shop, an association that has been ongoing since then. In 1995 he was an invited artist in the inaugural exhibition of the NH Furniture Masters Association and has been an active member since the group’s inception.
Although primarily a maker, he has taught furniture workshops at The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine; Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC; and Peters Valley School of Craft, Layton, NJ.
Blachly works mainly on commission and does occasional exhibition pieces at his studio in Warner, New Hampshire. His furniture is represented by Pritam & Eames, The Gallery at Somes Sound, and The League of NH Craftsman. In 2014 his work was included in the permanent collection of The Currier Museum of Art. Examples of his work have also appeared in the publications Architectural Digest, Art and Antiques and Fine Woodworking Magazine.
I continue to develop a design language for furniture that is calm, elegant and subtly sensuous. I feel the use of gently curved lines and surfaces, the warmth of exceptional woods, and ultimately a careful handmade approach will generate furniture that is a comfort to live with.
Our collaborative project imagines Ted Blachly’s Curly Maple chest as a Birthday Gift or “Homage” in honor of the poet, Emily Dickinson, of Amherst, MA. We imagine the Chest to be a safe place for her poems, scraps of envelopes, letters and other small, wondrous, even heirloom treasures. Our project includes: several ceramic bowls, and an original poem.
I Send Two Sunsets
I send Two Sunsets –Day and I – in competition ran –
I finished Two – and several Stars –While He – was making One –
His own was ampler – but as I Was saying to a friend –Mine – is the more convenient To Carry in the Hand
Poem by Emily DickinsonPHOTO CREDIT: BILL TRUSLOW
Collaboration Partners: Randy Dixon and Marcus Green
Born in Manchester, NH, Jon Brooks earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, where he studied and apprenticed with Wendell Castle, and William Keyser. Since then he has taught and lectured widely at institutions as varied as the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, The University of Tasmania, The Haystack School of Crafts in Maine, Anderson Ranch in Colorado and The Center of Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine.
A leading figure in The American Studio Furniture Movement, Brooks is highly regarded nationally and internationally as a furniture maker and sculptor, and for his ability to combine craftsmanship, inventiveness, and poetic whimsy. Examples of his work may be found in the collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, The Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH.
Curly Maple Seat (Stain, Oil Base Varnish, Mineral
Maple Legs (Acrylic, Stain, Water Base Varnish)
Both Randy and Marcus came to my studio and home to witness my art works and furniture ~ We discussed my process and theirs as well as personal projects ~ Conversations about how and why we got involved with art making ~
Collaboration Partners: David Hiley and Shawn Michael Smith
The sweeping curves and uninterrupted lines in my work are a result of the relationship between design and material. Each piece of stock is carefully chosen and sometimes resawn exposing its best face. Boards are often from the same tree providing a unity of color and hue. Handles pulls and hinges are made in the shop using complementary fine woods and precious metals which I sometimes engrave.
The work of cabinetmaking—the designing joining and finishing of a piece—appeals to me as it demands the use of both the hands and mind. I began my career in 1984 as a boat builder’s apprentice boat work fascinates me as almost nothing is straight or square. From 1992 through 1994 I attended the College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg California where I studied with James Krenov. I draw much creative inspiration from Jim as well as the 20th century woodworkers Edward Barnsley and Wharton Esherick.
I now design and build fine furniture on commission and speculation in my one-person shop in East Gloucester Massachusetts. I am a member of the New Hampshire Furniture Masters and was formerly part of Fort Point Cabinetmakers in Boston.
This experience has been a rewarding one, one in which I have developed a friendship with and an appreciation for the work (and methodology) of the photographer David Hiley. I believe the presented results are beautiful and a worthy contribution to both the exhibit and the world of collaborative art.
Collaboration Partners: Shawn Sutton and Patrick McCay
My passion for designing and creating began nearly fifty years ago. As a child I was most content in my basement workshop, using whatever tools and materials were at hand as I learned how to take ideas and make them real. In my twenties I studied with James Krenov at the College of the Redwoods where I further developed my skills and garnered a deep appreciation for wood and all its subtleties under the guidance of a master.
While the form and function of my furniture is always at the forefront, the surfaces are often embellished with patterns and textures. Largely inspired by nature, but also by cultures throughout the world, I have developed my own pattern language which I express using low relief carving, marquetry, embossing with steel stamps and parquetry with thick veneer tiles. The patterns and textures create a lively interplay with the form of the pieces, bringing forth objects which straddle the line between furniture and sculpture.
My furniture has been described as poetic, sculptural and exquisitely detailed. For me, it represents a passionate exploration of ideas, material and process, and a way to express the richness I see in the material and natural world every day.
Collaboration Partner: Jay Goldsmith
Jeffrey Cooper is a furniture maker and specialty carver living and working in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. As such he can combine advanced woodworking skills and joinery with imaginative artistry, inspired by the work of architect Antonio Gaudi, Pablo Picasso, sculptor Constatin Brancusi, and Athabaskan artist Bill Reid. His custom furniture pieces and unique sculptures have been featured in libraries, museums, hospitals, and homes throughout the country.
Cooper is best known for his “functional artwork,” which is comprised of hand-carved pieces designed for the home, garden, or corporate setting. His philosophy is to think carefully about the environment in which his work will be seen, and to design work that relates specifically with that in mind. Cooper’s current endeavor is to transition more public art in his workload mix for the reward of having a wider audience see and appreciate his work.
Cooper is a long-time member and past chairman of the NH Furniture Masters Association, a member of the Guild of NH Woodworkers, New England Sculpture Associates, and a woodworking instructor at the Maine State Prison.
My furniture piece was an idea already in the works when this project was announced, but the idea of photographing tools that were used in creating the piece was Jay’s. What I found interesting was the special photography techniques that Jay uses, a mix of traditional and techy.
Collaboration Partner: Tony Attardo
John Geraghty is a self-taught woodworker who has run his business, Grain of Thought, for the last 34 years. His career started as a carpenter but after he read James Krenov’s “The Impractical Cabinet Maker, “ John’s emphasis favored woodworking . His passion for the outdoors and working wood led him to different locations out West including Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, and Hawaii. During this time, he learned the crafts of timber framing, architectural woodworking, and furniture making.
John’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, New England Home, House Beautiful, The Hampshire Gazette, Woodshop News, and the Western MA, American Institute of Architects Newsletter.
From a very early age wood has fascinated me. How this material surrounds us and makes so much possible. That connection one feels when engrossed with making something from this gift. I feel a direct relation to those before me, much like growing food or building a fire, the creative spirit is timeless.
NH Furniture Master Invited Artist
A Clock Body
Walnut, Rosewood, Ivory, Brass, Hand Enameled Glass, Painted dial, Ivory escutcheon
Based on a 19th century clock form, this piece incorporates a hand-enameled glass panel depicting the lower half of a formally dressed woman in a pose common in 19th century portraiture. The pleats of her dress blend with the angled rosewood of the clock door, and the clock face replaces her face - blurring the line between furniture and figure. Her body and the body of the clock are seamless, yet her folded hands, the frame of the door, and the lock depict her as both a portrait and captive.
Ribbon Brush with Shelf
Bleached Maple, Ebonized Maple, Brass, Black Tampico Fibers
17.5” L x 6.5” W x 0.75” D
Hand carved brush and shelf blending iconic 17th -19th century American furniture forms with contemporary sculpture. Made using traditional ebonizing techniques, hand tools and brush tying, and blending traditional practice with playful aesthetics. Designed for display or fantastical home cleaning scenarios.
Scrub brush in bleached & ebonized maple, yellow heart, tampico fibers
6” x 4” x 5.5”
Hand carved from a reassembled piece of hard maple with intersecting exotic veneer. A blend of functionality and sculpture, the playfully lavish style juxtaposes its utility. Carved so the user’s fingers slip between the smooth rounded surfaces for a firm grip - ideal for display or hard scrubbing.
LIZ GRACECollaboration Partners: Nikki French and Rob Hirschfeld
This piece began as a celebration of my newfound love of the fiddle. I wanted to create a cabinet that exuded the energy and flow of music and could hold the beauty of a fiddle and bows.
I chose sapele for its vibrant, flowing ribbons of grain that echo the lines in a musical staff. The shape of the cabinet reflects the curves of the fiddle and is a refrain for the sense of flow and energy which music brings to us. The contrasting woods are a combination of actual fiddle parts (the feet, door pulls and bow hangers) and ebonized wood to reflect the elements of the fiddle.
Music is such an integral part of our human beauty. My hope is that this piece elicits some of that beauty and speaks of the joy of participating in such a deep and wonderful art form.
Participating with Nikki and Rob has been an enjoyable and interesting experiment in collaboration. All three of us brought our enthusiasm, challenges and limitations to the experience so that it became a very ‘real life’ adventure in trying to work collaboratively.
I very much enjoyed getting to know Nikki and Rob and learning about their approaches to their art as well as the meaning it has for each of them. Having their perspectives helped me to learn more about my own process.
Garrett Hack is an internationally known furniture maker, educator, writer, and farmer from Thetford, Vermont. A furniture maker for more than 42 years, he has created his own aesthetic with designs that continually push his skills to the next level. He’s also an in-demand woodworking instructor, teaching classes in Germany, England, Austria, Italy, Spain, Canada, Australia, Israel, and Japan, as well as throughout the US.
Hack has a great love of hand tools of all shapes and sizes and uses them to great effect in everything he builds, sculpting delicate details by eye. He is the author of The Handplane Book and Classic Hand Tools, a contributing editor at Fine Woodworking Magazine, and former chairman of the NH Furniture Masters.
Chestnut, Hard Pine, Douglas Fir, Olive, Sycamore, Burl, Ebony, Holly, Abalone, Bone 10” W, 5” D, 19” H (2019)
Started on a teaching trip to northern Spain and made with local woods. The inlaid panel interprets the night sky over the dry hills.
Collaboration Partners: Gary Samson and Mary Mead
Owain Harris is a self-taught woodworker who operates a one-man studio in Deerfield, NH where he builds custom furniture and cabinetry. He began his career in wood as a framing carpenter in 1997 and after several years working as both a finish carpenter and remodeler, he entered the shop full-time as a cabinetmaker in 2008. His work has garnered multiple awards and been featured in many publications. Owain shares his passion for furniture making and design through writing, and as an instructor at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport Maine.
I never cease to be amazed by the ability of wood to be both transformed and transforming. As I have spent the last decade learning to work wood, so too has it shaped who I am today. My journey as a craftsperson has always been an attempt to reach that impalpable position of mastery. I suspect it shall always feel just out of reach, but that is what keeps me returning to the shop day after day. The hope that this next design, this next piece, this next joint will be the one that explains everything to me.
I am endlessly fascinated by the inspirations and processes of creative people. Whenever I have the opportunity to get to know an artist and their work, I am always struck by how much of the joy and frustration of making art is shared in common, and I am inspired by the approach each artist chooses to create their work. For me, this collaboration was an opportunity to connect with two exceptional artists, visit their studio, see their work in progress, and discuss their process. I enjoyed it immensely and I come away from it richer. I definitely hope to remain in touch with both Gary and Mary moving forward.
Collaboration Partners: Ann Saunderson and Darcy Anderson
David Lamb’s career started in Canterbury, NH almost 50 years ago when his family moved to Canterbury Shaker Village to run the Shaker museum there. Living within the historical setting and having a personal friendship with the six remaining Shakers gave him a unique insight into that segment of American folklife and the Shaker artistic and architectural output. Within a year of moving to Canterbury David was invited to be an apprentice with Alejandro de la Cruz, an accomplished and traditionally trained cabinetmaker from Madrid.
The training David received over the three-year period focused on benchwork and all hand techniques and long discussions on design, proportion, aesthetics and the business of being a craftsman. Contemporary art school was next at Boston University’s Program in Artistry with Jere Osgood and Alphonse Mattia as teachers for his degree in Applied Arts.
During his career he has been a 40-year juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and has served as juror for over a decade. He is a founding member of the Guild of NH Woodworkers and regular contributor to their Journal and is a founding member of The NH Furniture Masters Association where he has served as chairman for three terms. He was appointed New Hampshire Artist Laureate by Gov. John Lynch for two terms from 2010-2014.
The Currier Museum of Art recently commissioned “The New Hampshire Secretary”, a new and graphically exciting major piece of furniture for their permanent collection. In 2021 David was awarded the prestigious Cartouche Award by The Society of American Period Furniture Makers. This recognition reflects the highest honor for this art form. Collaborations with other artists and craftsmen play a big part in David’s work but also the insightful feedback and exceptional contributions from his wife, Janet.
The collaborative efforts between me, Ann and Darcy were based on a pre-existing commission for a serving table. The designs in this commission have a classical format combined with a long-standing aesthetic of carved elements. I have been refining for over 20 years, the iris motif.
Iris Serving Table
Mahogany, Curly Maple, Tulip Poplar secondary
On loan from patrons. Similar commissions welcomed.
Collaboration Partner: Elsa Voelcker
At StrathamWood Studios, founder and craftsman Roger Myers’ work is influenced by the beauty of nature and he seeks to capture its unique properties in work that will be treasured for generations. Custom furniture and decorative accessories are crafted with quality and integrity to last for generations.
Roger is a graduate of the acclaimed two-year program in furniture and cabinet making at Boston’s North Bennet Street School. In 2017 Roger joined the New Hampshire Furniture Masters as an Invited Artist and then became a full member and is the current chairman of The New Hampshire Furniture Masters.
Roger is a juried member of the League of N.H. Craftsmen and is an active member and past president of The Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers. He is also a board member and Immediate Past Chair of the American Furniture Masters Institute.
Elsa, an accomplished photographer, visited the studio on several occasions and looked at the materials I employ through the lens of the camera and the eye of a photographer. Her observations on the materials and their “texture” were insightful. She also sought to document my work on the piece and shot a considerable number of those photos in black and white.
Portsmouth Bow Front Sideboard
Inspired by the work of furniture makers in Portsmouth in the Federal Period, this sideboard retains many of the notable details of the original with some subtle adaptations that make it comfortable in any contemporary setting. The four drawers are faced with birch carefully milled and selected from native NH white birch trees. Typical of many of my pieces, this sideboard may have one or more hidden compartments.PHOTO CREDIT: BILL TRUSLOW
Collaboration Partners: Dan Derby and Michael Rodriguez Torrent
Richard Oedel makes his furniture at Fort Point Cabinetmakers in Boston, a collaborative partnership which he shares with several of the people who teach at the North Bennet Street School, also his alma mater. His work has appeared in Fine Woodworking, Woodshop News, Cabinet and Wood Business, and many other periodicals, as well as in a half dozen books. He gives talks, workshops and classes, and takes on the occasional intern. He makes furniture using traditional styles and techniques as a gateway to a contemporary idiom, with occasional flights of fancy into more organic forms. For many years he was the Chair of the NH Furniture Masters.
A successful piece of furniture is created at the confluence of simplicity of design and utility of form. The design, function and craftsmanship are integral parts of the pieces that I make. The materials are chosen to enhance that design aesthetic, with the objective always to strive to make furniture that enriches the lives of the owners.
We are happy to be showing the “Wilson Chair” made by founding member of the NH Furniture Masters Association, Jere Osgood as part of our Annual Exhibition.
Brown Ash with an antelope hide upholstered seat
Collaboration Partners: Somayeh Kashi and Gabrielle Rameriz
I am interested in the small quiet details that permeate daily life; details that are found in the intricacies of our inner world, in the subtleties of relationships and in the neglected stories of life histories. Giving form to these details has led to a continued exploration of formal sculptural and architectural space.
Although trained as a fine furniture maker, my work has always been more poetic than practical, finding beauty in imperfection and comfort in the detritus of the past. I am inspired by the Modernist language of simplicity, focusing on small details, imperfection and nuance. Wavering lines, asymmetrical forms and slumping shapes are all part of this vocabulary.
Surface treatment has been, and continues to be important in my work. I often layer similar hues, sanding through to reveal the archeology of the process. These manipulated surfaces when combined with the natural grain of wood put each material in a different context.
I studied Furniture Design at San Diego State University and live and work in Rollinsford, NH.
I enjoyed texting with Somayeh and Gabrielle this summer. Keeping them abreast of my progress kept me connected in a way that my usual creative process does not.
Collaboration Partners: Stephanie Greene and Liza Poinier
Brad Wolcott is a classically trained studio furniture maker who combines contemporary design sensibilities with the finest materials available to create unique pieces of decorative art. His love for woodworking began in high school. While attending Dartmouth College, Brad spent four years working in the Hopkins Center Woodworking Studio on projects ranging from traditional Alaskan snowshoes to a Shaker-style pencil-post bed. For his work there he was awarded the Heinman-Rosenthal Achievement Award in Creative Arts. After graduation, Brad served for years as a cavalry officer in the United States Army. Upon completion of his service, he enrolled at the North Bennett Street School in Boston, Massachusetts to pursue a career in furniture making. At NHSS, Brad learned the traditional hand tool skills and construction techniques that are the hallmarks of fine American furniture. This foundation of fine craftsmanship is reflected in Brad’s contemporary work where traditional techniques are combined with more organic, curvilinear forms to create furniture that is intended to last for generations. Today he works in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife Jillian, creating custom furniture for clients throughout the United States.
LEAH WOODSCollaboration Partners: Grace Mattern and John Hauschilt
Leah Woods is an artist working primarily with wood building functional and non-functional objects. Having received her MFA in Woodworking and Furniture Design from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2000, she designed and built one-of-a-kind furniture before transitioning to explore conceptual and sculptural objects. Over the years, she has built several bodies of work including: A Personal Wardrobe-Cabinets investigating clothing and the female form, Footloose- A Series of Cabinets for High-Heeled Shoes, Structure- An investigation of Mannequins and Dress Forms, and most recently, Navigation- An exploration of autobiographical maps. Leah is also an Associate Professor of Art at University of New Hampshire where she teaches woodworking and furniture design classes.
Collaborating with Grace and John has been very enjoyable. Starting out the project, I had the chance to talk through some ideas, which was both intimidating, as I wasn’t exactly sure what my ideas were, but also exciting in trying to explore new forms. Because Grace is a poet and collage artist and John is a photographer, it was also interesting to hear how they were processing and developing their own ideas.