Vermont Furniture Makers at a Glance

Did you catch the last installment of FIVE IN 5? We’re back with round four—60 second portraits of Vermont’s studio furniture makers and members of our Guild.

The Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers is an association of master level makers dedicated to the promotion of quality craftsmanship, excellence in design, and the pursuit of artistic vision. Our goal is to increase public awareness and appreciation of a time honored art, expanding the market for handcrafted furniture and promoting the common interests of furniture makers in Vermont.

Charles Shackleton of ShackletonThomas Plainfield's David Boyton Cabinetmaker Original, Contemporary Furniture by Hugh Belton Josh Metcalf and First Edition Furniture of Pomfret, Vermont

Vermont Windsor Chairs by George Ainley

Row 1: Charles Shackleton & ShackletonThomas, Bridgewater VT  Classic, Handcrafted, Delicately Detailed. Charlie’s influences include the formal interiors and rural Irish cottages of his youth and his extensive travel abroad. Furniture collections include a handful of distinctive lines, something for every taste and bearing the marks of his experience. Emphasis on handwork and the unique qualities hand-making brings to each piece. Describes it as furniture with soul, as fine art for living. (more on the blog) Signatures: hand-cut dovetails, simple but perfect embellishments. And check out the Naked Table Project. You can make a piece of furniture with Charlie and the crew. Visit in person, or online. Custom inquiries welcome.

Row 2: David Boynton Cabinetmaker, Plainfield VT  Dave wins for best view from the shop window! A student of Philadelphia College of Art and the Michael Coffey School. Has worn many hats from furniture making instructor to production manager at a large architectural firm. This varied experience, a standard of excellence and easy going personality make him a great fit for a ‘team’ project. In his original work, look for dynamic, visually stunning products, reminiscent of really fine art deco designs. Also ‘detail’ solutions that are outside-of-the-box. Contemporary furniture that feels at home in a room filled with well cared for antiques. Elegant and unexpected. Reach out to Dave with your design idea by email!

Row 3: Hugh Belton Furniture, Woodstock VT  West Coaster in New England. A native of Portland, OR and self-described as flexible and adaptable. NEA grant recipient, Exhibitor with the American Craft Council and the Smithsonian Craft Show. Makes award winning, contemporary studio furniture in original designs that favors sweeping lines inspired by nature, and West Coast sculptural style. Features to note: Innovative engineering, inlayed legs on desks, tables and chairs creating an open, durable form. Signature pieces include his Captain’s Chairs and Sleigh Bed. Penchant for unique woods. Workshop at the homestead in Woodstock (visit on the blog) focusing on commissioned pieces and projects.

Row 4: Josh Metcalf Furniture, Pomfret VT  Entirely self-taught master craftsman hailing from a family of artists. Collector of antique tools so no surprise, his work is distinguished by incredible and intricate handwork. Favors domestic woods like walnut, cherry or figured maple but can source exotics if a commission requires it. Original furniture designs but influenced by Ming Chinese traditions, and the English antique periods of Chippendale, Hepplewhite and Sheraton. Look for clean lines and geometry, meticulous construction, ambitious design and over-the-top details. Exquisite, not flashy. Connect with Josh via Email and have a look at his portfolio on our site.

Row 5: George Ainley & Vermont Windsors, Perkinsville VT  Works exclusively on the Windsor form; continuous arm chairs, side chairs, benches and settees, stools. Starts with whole, locally sources logs and works every step and piece by hand. Utilizes traditional techniques and woods (maple, oak, ash and hickory) and applies a hand-polished, oiled milk paint finish. Watch for a top color rubbed through at natural points of wear; you may not be able to discern one of George’s chairs from a prized antique, until you sit in it. Form marked by deeply scooped seats and ergonomic arm details for comfort. Plays a fiddle in his spare time, takes care of his sheep and thirty acre Perkinsville homestead. You can connect with George by email but also visit his website.

Past Features:

Five in 5 (1st installment, featuring Tim Clark, Erin Hanley, Steve Holman, Bill Laberge, Bob Gasperetti)

Five in 5 (2nd installment, featuring Richard Bissell, David Hurwitz, Chris Ericson, John Lomas, Chip Ogg)

Five in 5 (3rd installment, featuring Dan Mosheim, Jim Becker, Paul Donio, Kit Clark, Joe Breznick)



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