How it began

Perhaps the best ideas emerge from unexpected places, chance encounters, some internal instinct that can't be defined.  In 1999, all that unfolded when New Hampshire Superior Court Justice Kathleen McGuire connected the New Hampshire Furniture Masters with the Hobby Craft Program at the New Hampshire State Prison. The Furniture Masters were world renown studio furniture makers at the top of their craft and their new students responded in ways that Justice McGuire could only have imagined.  Since that time, the program has been expanded to the State of Maine, beautiful work has been created, new occupations realized, and the art of fine furniture making became a life changing path forward.

Going forward

The success of the Prison Outreach Program in New Hampshire and Maine has led to further interest in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and perhaps beyond.  The strength of the mentorships between Master and student may also be realized beyond prison walls in separate studios and schools.  The possibilities are limitless and can travel far beyond Justice McGuire's initial intent.  We hope you will take that journey with us.

Tom McLaughlin instruction of detailed carving element.

Tom McLaughlin instruction of detailed carving element.

Board of Directors

We are grateful to our current Board of Directors who are ready to take a leap of faith and translate the success of past programs into entirely new directions.  Our members include:

Roger Myers, Chair
Mary W. McLaughlin, RVP, Immediate Past Chair
Jon Brooks, Furniture Maker, Vice Chair
Geralyn Smariga, Secretary
Pauline Ikawa, VP, Treasurer
Jere Osgood, Furniture Maker, Trustee Emeritus
Arnie Arnesen
John Cameron
Tyra Hanson
Kathleen McGuire
Terry Moore, Furniture Maker
Brian Reid, Furniture Maker
Bill Siroty

Tom McLaughlin with New Hampshire Prison Outreach Program students

Tom McLaughlin with New Hampshire Prison Outreach Program students

 

 

Collaboration between Allen Eason and Eric Grant, New Hampshire Prison Outreach Program

Collaboration between Allen Eason and Eric Grant, New Hampshire Prison Outreach Program

The Furniture Masters provide an incomparable opportunity for inmates to learn highly sophisticated woodworking techniques.  Time spent in prison becomes more productive and the inmates, 98 percent of whom are released from prison at some point, are better prepared to earn a living on the outside.  But there are other, intangible benefits to this program.  These craftsmen are dedicated family men and responsible members of their community.  They are good men who set a good example with personal strengths and values each time they work side by side with an inmate.
— Justice Kathleen McGuire
        Dresser by Eric Grant New Hampshire Prison Outreach Program

        Dresser by Eric Grant
New Hampshire Prison Outreach Program