Fine Woodworking: Masterful Helping Hand

Thank you to Elizabeth Healy for this article about Grant Burger, Greg Brown and the Alden Artisan Advancement. We hope you will read it and be inspired to apply for the 2018 Alden Award, http://furnitureinstitute.org/grants/

Deadline: September 30, 2017

Masterful Helping Hand

NHFMA helps furniture maker Grant Burger in his quest to go pro

By elizabeth healy Jul 11, 2017

Not too long ago, professional furniture maker and carver Greg Brown was pondering an age-old woodworking question: Why is it so hard for aspiring furniture makers to make a go of it?

“My own frustrations with just simply emerging in this field and seeing the dismal job opportunities for students graduating from trade and art schools gave me the idea to pay it forward,” Brown said. As a member of the New Hampshire Furniture Masterswho was grateful for the opportunities the organization had placed before him, Brown started thinking about what he could do to help share some of the group’s considerable expertise with an emerging maker.

Grant Burger at work on his settee

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, Marine Corps veteran and mixed martial arts fighter Grant Burger was busy competing in the Full Contact Fighting Federation in Portland, Ore., and thinking about a different, possibly less dangerous, way he could use his hands to make a living. Having discovered a love of making things from wood, he started working as a carpenter and doing woodworking projects at home. After moving to Pittsburgh, one day he read a Fine Woodworking article by Dan Faia about building a bombé chest, realized Faia taught at a place called North Bennet Street School in Boston, and had a marvelous idea. He’d use his VA education benefits to really learn this rewarding craft.

A convergence of quests

The two woodworkers’ quests—Brown’s to help an emerging furniture maker and Burger’s to become one—came together last fall after Brown, with the backing of the NHFMA and his patrons, established the Alden Artisan Advancement, a grant for aspiring professional furniture makers. Named for Brown’s grandfather, Alden Hobart, the Alden Artisan Advancement offered the recipient $1,000 to develop and promote an original furniture piece, to be exhibited at the Masters’ Main Event in October, professionally photographed, and featured in the NHFMA’s annual catalog in the “emerging artist” section. In addition, the winner would have the benefit of feedback on the piece, be able to partake in all marketing events, and would receive professional guidance from members of the organization.

To read the entire article: http://www.finewoodworking.com/2017/07/11/masterful-helping-hand

To apply for the 2018 Alden Artisan Advancement: http://furnitureinstitute.org/grants/

Deadline: September 30, 2017.

NH Magazine: Crafting a Future

One way to escape from prison is to dig a tunnel through rock and soil with a purloined kitchen spoon, but what if all that energy and imagination went instead into creating lasting works of beauty?

Beautiful words from Barbara Coles from her feature story, Crafting a Future, on the Prison Outreach Program at the N.H. Prison in the latest issue of NH Magazine.  John Benford's beautiful photos accompany.  Thank you both for your truly excellent work in capturing the difference this program has made in the lives of others!

www.nhmagazine.com/February-2017/Crafting-a-Future

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Briere: Edge Radio Interview

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Donald Briere with former instructor Furniture Master Terry Moore.

Donald Briere with former instructor Furniture Master Terry Moore.

Enjoy this radio interview with Donald Briere, New England Custom Woodturning, Brentwood.  Donald talks about getting his start in woodturning through the Hobby Craft program at the N.H. Prison with a special assist from Terry Moore and the Furniture Masters' Prison Outreach Program.  

For those of you who know Briere's work, he was born to be a woodturner.  For those of you who know Briere's story, his unorthodox path to his true craft is a story of redemption.  He offers a life lesson to never give up even when all seems lost.  Everything in life - good and bad - can turn on a dime and perhaps that is why he keeps turning.

To see more of Donald Briere's work and to visit his gallery: 

http://newenglandcustomwoodturning.yolasite.com/

Best in Show 2009, League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Sunapee Crafts Fair.

Best in Show 2009, League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Sunapee Crafts Fair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant Burger: The Alden Artisan Advancement Award Recipient

Announcing The Alden Artisan
Advancement Award Recipient

Grant Burger

North Bennet Street School

MANCHESTER, N.H. - The New Hampshire Furniture Masters, in conjunction with its non-profit the American Furniture Masters Institute, announce The Alden Artisan Advancement Award recipient for the 2017 season: 

Grant Burger, North Bennet Street School
for his rocking settee design

Burger, a native of Warren, Ohio, is currently living in Somerville, Mass.  He is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and slated to graduate from North Bennet Street School in June of 2017.

The Alden Artisan Advancement Scholarship was created to support an aspiring student or apprentice in furthering their own career as a professional furniture designer/maker. Grant Burger will receive $1,000 towards the development and promotion of his rocking settee which will be exhibited at the annual Furniture Masters Main Event in the Fall of 2017.   As part of the award, the piece will be photographed by Bill Truslow in Portsmouth, N.H., and included in the Masters' annual design book.  

The rocking settee will be constructed using turned and shaped posts, bent laminated and shaped rockers, shaped ladder back slats and crest rail, and a slip seat upholstered with leather.  The result I would like to achieve with this piece is to have a comfortable rocking seat that can be shared between loved ones.

The rocking settee will be constructed using turned and shaped posts, bent laminated and shaped rockers, shaped ladder back slats and crest rail, and a slip seat upholstered with leather. 

The result I would like to achieve with this piece is to have a comfortable rocking seat that can be shared between loved ones.

About his design Burger said, "I had the design idea for the rocking settee after doing similar single rockers.  This is a piece of furniture that I've wanted to build for a very long time. I have been inspired by the work of the American Shakers since I first became interested in woodworking. My idea is to combine the building techniques of the Shakers with the capabilities of modern woodworkers. Specifically, the ability to sculpt and shape wood more efficiently."

"My mentor, Matt Wajda, had told me about the Furniture Masters and I was encouraged to apply for the Alden Award by my department instructor, Dan Faia.  Simply knowing my design would be critiqued by the Furniture Masters' jury was reason enough to apply," Burger explained.  "It is a true honor to learn the jury is excited to see the design reach fruition and eventually exhibited alongside the other Furniture Masters." 

Single Rocker Design

Single Rocker Design

Furniture Master Greg Brown, Bedford, N.H., originated the idea of the Alden Award and named it in honor of his grandfather, Alden Hobart.  At 33, Brown is currently the youngest Furniture Master and is eager to assist other emerging artists.  Brown said, "The Furniture Masters are all about preserving the art of fine furniture making for the next generation.  Each of the Masters has learned skills from their own mentors and reach out a hand to instruct others.  I have benefited enormously through the critical review of my work, learned about how to market my furniture, and gained experience in connecting with patrons at our exhibits.  I proposed the Alden Award to offer that same opportunity to other makers and I am delighted Grant Burger will share this experience as he begins his own furniture making career."

The Furniture Masters have established a reputation for creating works to the highest standards of design and craftsmanship. As a group they offer each other inspiration and critical feedback, and collectively address the challenge of marketing such distinctive and artistic work.

For more information about the Furniture Masters: www/furnituremasters.org

To apply for the 2018 Alden Award
or make a donation to support its efforts: www/furnitureinstitute.org/

The New Hampshire Furniture Masters are a group of professional furniture artisans committed to preserving the centuries-long tradition of fine furniture making.  The association promotes the growth of fine furniture making, as well as the sale of fine furniture by its members, by hosting exhibitions; engaging in collaborative marketing and educational activities; and partnering with museums, art organizations, and galleries.  The organization strives to uphold the highest standards of quality craftsmanship through a peer-reviewed jury system.  The Furniture Masters' Gallery is located at 49 South Main Street, Concord, New Hampshire.

The American Furniture Masters Institute is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and a vital arm of the New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association to support educational endeavors and preserve the art of fine furniture making.  For the past 15 years, the Institute has coordinated the Prison Outreach Program in New Hampshire and recently expanded the program to Maine.

New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association, P.O. Box 5733, Manchester, NH 03108

 

 

 

September 30th Deadline Approaches for Alden Advancement

The Furniture Masters are proud to offer the Alden Artisan Advancement Scholarship to help support an aspiring student or apprentice in furthering their career as a professional furniture designer/maker. The recipient of the scholarship will receive $1,000 towards the development and promotion of an original furniture piece which will then be on exhibit at the group’s annual Furniture Masters Main Event in the Fall of 2017. The Main Event is an opportunity to exhibit alongside established makers and interact with current and past patrons in an intimate setting. 

The student/apprentice will be encouraged to create something which showcases their very best work. As part of the award the piece will be photographed by professional photographer Bill Truslow in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and it will be included in the Furniture Masters annual design book in the “Emerging Artist” section.  

Garrett Hack instructing students

To learn more about the scholarship and find out how to apply: www.furnitureinstitute.org/grants

Portsmouth Herald: Furniture skills make a path to freedom for inmates

We thank the Portsmouth Herald and seacoastonline.com for the following feature story: 

http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20160916/furniture-skills-make-path-to-freedom-for-new-hampshire-inmates

From Prison to Productivity: Creating New Paths to Freedom and Why it Matters

Monday, September 19, 3S ArtSpace, 319 Vaughn St., Portsmouth, N.H.

6:30 p.m. Reception in the Gallery with exhibit of Prison Outreach Program pieces

7:00 p.m. Speaking Program followed by discussion with representatives of the American Furniture Masters Institute and Stefany Shaheen, N.Y. Times bestselling author of Elle & Coach: Diabetes, the Fight for my Daughter’s Life, and the Dog who Changed Everything

Free and Open to the Public

We hope you are able to attend!

 

From Prison to Productivity: Creating New Paths to Freedom and Why it Matters

We are pleased to sponsor the following presentation and hope you will be able to join us!

Monday, September 19 - 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m. Reception in the Gallery with exhibit of Prison Outreach Program pieces

7:00 p.m. Speaking Program followed by discussion with representatives of the American Furniture Masters Institute and Stefany Shaheen, N.Y. Times bestselling author of Elle & Coach: Diabetes, the Fight for my Daughter’s Life, and the Dog who Changed Everything

Free and Open to the Public

3S ArtSpace, 319 Vaughn St., Portsmouth, N.H.

N.H. Prison Outreach Student, Photo by Jim Cole, AP

N.H. Prison Outreach Student, Photo by Jim Cole, AP

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -  15 years ago, at the urging of Superior Court Justice Kathleen McGuire, the N.H. Furniture Masters created the Prison Outreach Program to provide woodworking instruction to N.H. prisoners.   No student in the program who has been released from prison has ever reoffended. In the last few years, the program expanded to Maine and met with the same success.  The Masters non-profit arm recently reincorporated as the American Furniture Masters Institute with the mission of expanding the program to even more states.    

Roger Myers, Chair of the Institute, will reintroduce the non-profit to the general public and show examples of Prison Outreach work on exhibit at 3S ArtSpace.  He will be joined by Furniture Master and Prison Outreach instructor, Terry Moore, Wilmot, N.H., and former student, Donald Briere, New England Custom Woodturning, Brentwood, N.H.  Briere recently won the 2016 Best in Show Award at the Living with Crafts Exhibition, League of N.H. Craftsmen Annual Sunapee Crafts Fair.  He also won the award in 2009.

Myers said, ‘Donald Briere is a perfect example of a Prison Outreach student who has left the prison system with marketable skills and was able to start a new career and a new life.  We couldn’t be more proud of his success.’
Donald Briere and Terry Moore with examples of Briere's work.

Donald Briere and Terry Moore with examples of Briere's work.

Myers also invited Stefany Shaheen, Portsmouth, N.H., and N.Y. Times bestselling author of Elle & Coach: Diabetes, the Fight for my Daughter’s Life, and the Dog who Changed Everything, to participate in the discussion.  Coach was trained by a prisoner as a service dog and is now able to detect changes in blood sugar levels.

Shaheen remarked, ‘My daughter, Elle, benefits directly every day from Coach’s life saving skills and his arrival brought an enormous sense of well being to our entire family.  Each dog trained provides that same security to others living with diabetes, seizure disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, mobility and other challenges and their loved ones.  We are forever grateful for this program and to the people who train these extraordinary dogs.’

Roger Myers, Terry Moore, Donald Briere, and Stefany Shaheen will share their personal stories about the impact of prison rehabilitative programs. Following the speaking program, there will be a panel discussion and book signing.  The event is free and open to the public.

Why it matters: 

The N.Y. Times reported that illegal drugs and alcohol helped lead to the imprisonment of four out of five inmates in the nation's prisons and jails. With the epidemic rise of opiates, the rehabilitative skills learned in prison become even more important to prevent reusing and reoffending after release.

Each prisoner has a unique story.  Success after a prison term will be up to the individual but providing marketable skills through rehabilitative training programs may make that difference.  The cost to society of repeat offenders in terms of impact of crime, repeated drug use, lost productive years, and taxpayer funding must also be considered.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013.  The fee to cover the average cost of incarceration for Federal inmates in Fiscal Year 2014 was $30,619.85 per prisoner.  

We are pleased to offer tonight’s program to explore two very different examples of rehabilitative training in U.S. prisons that create new paths to freedom and help to prevent a return to prison.  

The Furniture Masters’ Distinctive exhibit featuring Prison Outreach pieces will be on view at 3S ArtSpace, September 12 to 25, with a Main Event, Sunday, Sept. 25, 1 to 5 p.m., exposition and silent auction; 5 p.m., live auction, free and open to the public; followed by dinner with the Masters, $50.

For More Information: Sheri Keniston, admin@furnitureinstitute.org, (603) 433-5774, www.furnitureinstitute.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Associated Press: Inmates carve out a new life in prison's shop program

Lynne Tuohy, The Associate Press reported this story April 20, 2013.  We are sharing a version printed in The Portsmouth Press Herald.

Photos by The Associated Press/Jim Cole

 

FRANKLIN, N.H. – A new gallery featuring the works of master furniture makers and other artists will have its grand opening this weekend, but the artisans won’t be there to collect payment or praise.

They’re all behind bars.

Inmate Eric Grant works in the wood shop inside the prison. 

Terry Moore, a master furniture maker, has been teaching convicts at the New Hampshire state prison his craft for nearly 13 years. The inmates’ work will be featured alongside Moore’s in an exhibit at Grevior Furniture.

Eric Grant is a convicted killer who is also a master furniture maker. He made a hand-carved Queen Anne side table priced at $1,599; he is eligible for parole in four years.

A saddle made by a New Hampshire state prison inmate is seen ready for sale Friday in Franklin, N.H. at the state prison.

Allen Eason poses with a guitar he made. Eason is a master furniture maker and a convicted murderer without the possibility of parole. “This is my life,” Eason said.

To continue: http://www.pressherald.com/2013/04/20/inmates-carve-out-a-new-life-in-prisons-shop-program_2013-04-20/

 

 

Wood Shop News: A Captive Audience

A captive audience

Posted on Monday, 19 August 2013 00:00Written by Jennifer Hicks

The prisoners take their first class.

The prisoners take their first class.

New Hampshire furniture artisan Brian Reid of Rockland, Maine, recently launched a new fine-woodworking program at the state prison in Warren, Maine.

The program currently includes 10 students and teaches all aspects of fine woodworking, such as the intricate details of hand-cut dovetails, mortise-and-tenon joinery, and sanding and finishing techniques. The students meet every Sunday and are learning to build cabinets, tables and chairs. Reid modeled the curriculum on the program he teaches at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, where he’s been a longtime instructor.

“I wanted to create a self-sustaining program wherein the current prisoner students would learn skills that they could then pass on to the next group of prisoner students,” Reid says.

Reid says his desire to create the program grew after hearing from his New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association colleagues about the rewards of teaching in the New Hampshire prison system through a program sponsored by the New Hampshire Institute of Furniture Making.

Read more:

http://www.woodshopnews.com/out-of-the-woodwork/503015-a-captive-audience

Instructors Dylan Fuller (left) and Brian Reid.  

Instructors Dylan Fuller (left) and Brian Reid.

 

Woodworkers Journal: Prison Outreach Program

NEW HAMPSHIRE FURNITURE MASTERS PRISON OUTREACH PROGRAM

BY JOANNA WERCH TAKES • MAR 17, 2015

Several years ago, the New Hampshire Furniture Masters responded to a request from former New Hampshire Superior Court Justice Kathleen A. McGuire to visit the hobby craft workshop in one of New Hampshire’s state prisons. Since that initial visit by Furniture Master Terry Moore in 1999, the organization has continued the Prison Outreach Program – with participating inmates’ work currently being showcased in an exhibition at the Furniture Masters’ Gallery in Concord.

The program consists of a rotating faculty of Furniture Masters volunteers presenting to several inmates at one time. Tom McLaughlin, who has been one of those volunteers since the beginning of the program, listed some of the topics covered in presentations at the prison as choosing the correct joinery for an application, how to hand cut dovetails, carving, finishing, vacuum veneering, furniture design and more.

Here's a link to the entire story: http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/new-hampshire-furniture-masters-prison-outreach-program/