One of the perks of being a member of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers is the opportunity to parlay with peers about the craft. Our craftsmen meet quarterly at a host studio to talk shop, share information and experiences, and to enjoy good food, drink, and camaraderie.
The support system is fabulous,” says Guild President Bob Gasperetti. “We use our group gatherings to discuss, critique, and share with one another. Members take turns giving demos on things like photography, fabrication, and finish techniques.”
At the March meeting, the group caught up with the Steering Committee’s winter work, described by Gasperetti as “an attempt to connect with new furniture makers, and reaching out to past members to reintroduce the Guild as an evolving organization.”
By June, after months of communication, strategizing, and hard work, the Guild juried and accepted FIVE new master makers — Steven Robinson, Ray Finan, Paul Zenaty, Richard Haver, and Eric Sprenger – and welcomed back master craftsman and architect Johns Congdon. Stay tuned for in-depth profiles and studio visits with each!
One of the newest opportunities to emerge from the Guild’s development initiative is the Journeyman’s membership, intended for those who may be relatively new to the business of furniture making but whose work and attitude toward the profession shows promise to reach the Master level. Those admitted as journeymen may request to be juried for Masters level membership after 1 year and must jury for Masters level after 3 years.
“With respect to the journeyman’s level, it’s a definitive attempt to foster the craft, and keep it going,” says Bob. “While we’re all competitors, we’re allies, too. Each of us has our own niche and personality, and our own personality in our work. So we can share our collective experiences for good, to bolster the experience for all.”
Today on the blog, we’re officially welcoming our very first JOURNEYMAN. Meet Matthew Ogelby.
Matt grew up in a rural Pennsylvania, in a home filled with antique, family furniture. The creative arts were a lifelong staple for him and he spent the first part of his career as a creative writer in the advertising industry. Now, he lives and works here in Vermont, where he creates custom furniture and small wares with locally grown and sustainably sourced hardwoods.
You won’t find Matt’s work on our site just yet. He’ll have to put in his dues and submit for review in twelve months, but you’ll see his stuff on our social media, and you can visit his own site here. Matt calls Waterbury home, with his wife Monica, their son George, and two furry babies. Say “Hello” to the Ogelby crew!
Many thanks to our tireless Steerers, and a very warm welcome to our new makers. Here’s to keeping it beautifully made in VT!