MANCHESTER, N.H. – The New Hampshire Furniture Masters welcome new Master, Eric Grant, Bedford, N.H., and three Invited Artists, Michael Gloor, Exeter, R.I., Owain Harris, Center Barnstead, N.H., and Roger Myers, Stratham, N.H. Invited Artists’ work has reached the master level and they will exhibit with the Furniture Masters as equals for the 2017 season.
Each of these artists carved a unique path to reach the rank of Master:
Eric Grant: The Master-trained student apprentice.
Michael Gloor: An art school graduate expert in multiple mediums.
Owain Harris: A self taught woodworker who graduated from carpentry to studio furniture making.
Roger Myers: The weekend woodworker who turned a hobby into art.
New Master, Eric Grant, Bedford, N.H., currently has a studio on Willow Street in Manchester, N.H. He began studying with the Furniture Masters at the inception of the N.H. Prison Outreach Program and it proved to be the perfect meeting of student and teachers. Grant had a natural talent that he was just discovering and it was allowed to flourish under the Masters’ tutelage. It was an exciting transformation for student and mentors alike.
When Grant wasn’t in the workshop, he was studying past American Masters and historic influences from the Rhode Island, Boston and Salem, Mass. furniture schools. He devoured information, practiced techniques over and over and was rewarded with real results. His work began selling widely at Furniture Master auctions and through private commissions and his pieces became highly prized. Through the sale of his furniture, he was able to assist his own family and put himself through college receiving two bachelor of arts degrees in business and clinical psychology from New England College where he graduated summa cum laude.
Eric Grant’s work pays homage to the past masters he studied so diligently and honors the tradition of eager student graduating to full fledged Master.
To see more of Eric Grant’s work: http://furnituremasters.org/wp-content/uploads/MastersPdf-Grant.pdf
Chippendale Cherry Bonnet-Top Highboy by Eric Grant
Photo by Bill Truslow
Invited Artist Michael Gloor, Exeter, R.I., went to college to study physics. One clay studio class and probably an uncomfortable call home later changed his direction. Instead of heading into a field of math and science, he transferred to the Kansas City Art Institute. After graduation, he moved to Rhode Island and opened a ceramics shop. To support his art he took ‘day jobs’ building houses and doing stair and boat work before finally arriving – as an artist would – at custom furniture making. Gloor’s design aesthetic moves between mediums. His furniture uses traditional Shaker-based elements but brings them to life through contemporary interpretation. His ceramic work with oriental influence is reimagined through his wood turning. Gloor’s work mixes the beauty of his Rhode Island seaside home, physics background, and classic art training, to create a fresh take on fine furniture making.
To see more of Michael Gloor’s work: http://gloordesign.com
Walking Man II by Michael Gloor
Invited Artist Owain Harris, Center Barnstead, N.H, now creates from a workshop in Deerfield, N.H. It is a far cry from his first studio in an unheated barn in Barrington, N.H, where he finally committed to fine furniture making. Harris is a one-time carpenter who advanced to cabinetry and finally to custom studio furniture. He is self taught, but learned from the many teachers and mentors he met along the way. Creating and learning went hand in hand. Imagining designs and then finding the technique that would accomplish the end result through reading, videos, workshops and seminars. His natural instincts help, too. Harris’s designs are pitch perfect and there is exact precision and enormous risk in his inlay work. Each step must be executed perfectly or the entire piece could be lost. The unheated barn helped to create a steady hand in Owain Harris and a fearless emerging artist who now ranks among the Masters.
To see more of Owain Harris’s work: https://harriscabinetmaker.com
Parson Table by Owain Harris
Invited Artist Roger Myers has a design studio in Stratham, N.H. and workshop in the Salmon Falls Mills in Rollinsford, N.H. He has been woodworking for 30 years but most of that time was spent balancing a busy career in the corporate world. It wasn’t until his retirement in 2011, that this weekend woodworker was able to focus fulltime on his craft. He left the boardroom for the workshop and has never looked back. Myers first headed to North Bennet Street School in Boston, Mass., for two years of instruction and to further explore his interest in American period furniture. He now takes that classic training to a new level by creating contemporary pieces inspired by the federal period. Myers is perhaps best known for his inlay work and masterful wood selection inspired by his walks through the New Hampshire woods. Reinventing the classics with a modern twist is what made Myers leap to Master and champion to all weekend woodworkers.
To see more of Roger Myers’ work: http://strathamwood.com/
Detail shot of Demilune Table by Roger Myers
When announcing the new Masters, Furniture Masters Chair Jeffrey Cooper said, “We are often asked if there is a formal nomination process to become a Furniture Master. Instead it is much more organic and intuitive. We consider mastery of fine furniture making but also look for the added details and design elements that push the art form to the next level.”
After nomination, the artist’s work is presented to the Furniture Master jury headed by Garrett Hack, a world renown furniture maker and instructor. Hack explained, “The jury is not looking for quality reproductions. Instead we seek the evolution of furniture making. After careful review we were in full agreement that Eric Grant, Michael Gloor, Owain Harris and Roger Myers were ready to join our ranks. We are proud to exhibit their work alongside our own.”
The best way to appreciate the masterwork of Eric Grant, Michael Gloor, Owain Harris and Roger Myers is to see it up close and in person.
Eric Grant’s work is on view at the ‘Comforts of Home’ exhibit, Furniture Masters’ Gallery, 49 South Main Street, Concord, N.H. now to June 12.
Michael Gloor, Owain Harris, and Roger Myers’ works are on view at the ‘Four Centuries of Furniture in Portsmouth with the N.H. Furniture Masters’ exhibit, Discover Portsmouth Center, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, N.H. now until June 18.
The Furniture Masters are grateful the art of fine furniture making is in the capable hands of four new ambassadors.