Garrett Hack

Garrett Hack:
Studied Civil Engineering and Architecture at Princeton University 1970-74

Boston University’s Program in Artisanry, Furniture 1978-80

A furniture maker for 40 years, Garrett Hack builds mostly commissions in a handmade granite and brick shop in Thetford Center, Vermont. His furniture — contemporary designs based on classic forms — and shop have been featured in Preservation Magazine (Society for Historical Preservation), The New York Times, Vermont Magazine, NH Home, Home Furniture and Fine Woodworking.

Wrote The Handplane Book (Taunton Press, 1997) full of practical advice about mastering this most essential woodworking tool, and Classic Hand Tools (Taunton, 1999), describing how to use a wide range of hand tools and integrate them into a modern shop.

Contributing editor at Fine Woodworking, writing articles about craftsmanship, design, and technique since 1989.

Internationally known teacher at The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship (Rockport, Maine), West Dean College (West Dean, UK), DICTUM (Metten, Germany), Inside Passage (Roberts Creek, BC), Marc Adams School of Woodworking (Indianapolis, Ind), Rosewood Studio (Perth, Ontario), Arrowmont (Gatlinburg, Tenn), Northwest School of Woodworking (Portland, Or), Kelly Mehler School of Woodworking (Berea, KY), Port Townsend School of Woodworking (Port Townsend, Washington), Colonial Williamsburg conferences 2000 and 2008, The Furniture Society conference 2001 Tempe, Arizona and 2005 San Diego, California, AWFS Las Vegas 2005. and for many guilds and woodworking groups. Also taught in Japan, Italy, Austria, Spain, and Australia.

Former Chairman —New Hampshire Furniture Masters.

Exhibited in many exhibitions since 1980; curated ARTIST BOXES at Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield, Ct. Sept. 1999. Part of permanent collection Bennington Museum, Bennington, Vt.

Runs a small diversified homestead farm with a workhorse, family cow, chickens, vegetables, orchard and other fruits, and raised 5 children with his artist wife.

How the piece is made:

"I had a pear slab, probably from Switzerland as that’s where the best pear originates, and from that came all of the parts. I sawed veneer (1/8” thick) from the slab to make the aprons, the rest of the slab became the top, and the drawer faces came from small offcuts from shaping the slab. Nothing was wasted. The slab was $700 to give you an idea of the value of the wood alone.

The aprons are laminated into their wavy shapes. Three forms were needed (for one apron I used the form upside down). Sculpting these aprons from solid stock creates a different appearance of the grain, plus introduces instability.

The piece is asymmetric — following the shape of the slab — and the drawers different depths corresponding to the width of the slab where they are located.

The rest is fairly self evident. I have a unique way of making strong and light drawers, and beveling the bottoms, so it is worth showing a drawer pulled from its pocket. The small drawer bottoms are nice Engelmann spruce, an instrument quality wood, the larger ones white pine from our forest.

It all started with a small rippled shell found on an Australian beach. Intriguing ripples, the finest stirrings of wind on water to billowing curtains, constantly changing, creating patterns of light and shadow. This desk is a play of ripples and shimmering curly pear, with six drawers and sparkles of paua shell at the toes of the boldly splayed rosewood legs.

Each piece is a memory of a moment in my life — a place, time, or inspiration."