Twenty-Six and Counting

I was thinking back to when we started the Centerbrook Chairshop Jeff Riley telling me, “I just want to see chairs all over the place.”

We are well our way to fulfilling that vision.

Our program has been going strong for eight years. We may not have chairs all over the place but we have a fine collection, and its growing. Twenty-six singular, hand-crafted pieces have become important and endearing parts of this place we call Centerbrook.

Our ninth Chairshop welcomes four new tyros: Aaron Trahan, Misha Semenov, Jill Cartagena, and Ken Cleveland. They’re eager to design and fashion their own visions, and our expectations are high. Stay tuned for 27, 28, 29 and 30…..

Aaron Trahan

“With an amateur understanding of power tools acquired through renovations to a 19th century Victorian Gothic home, I joined the chair class to learn patience, design, and craft when working with wood. I am interested in finding inspiration from 18th and 19th century furniture, especially Victorian styles, to create a chair that is intimate and beautiful.”

Misha Semenov

“I have been excited about the chair class since the first day I visited Centerbrook and saw the chairs on display in the lobby. I think it's such an important part of what makes our firm so unique: our emphasis on craft, making, place, and materials. I want to immerse myself in the art and science of working with wood and other natural materials. While a chair is a tangible product, I'm really looking forward to gaining an appreciation for human-scale craftsmanship, which is something I'm sure I'll take into architectural detailing in my projects moving forward.”

Jill Cartagena

“I took wood shop in high school and metal shop in college. The chair workshop for me is a chance to get familiar and comfortable again using power tools and equipment. I am also hoping to rekindle the gratification of making things by hand. I hope this experience is just the beginning of awakening my sleepy creative spirit!”

Ken Cleveland

“We have some really talented craftsmen instructing this class, so why not learn from them when you have the opportunity? I have lots of tools at home, and I’m certain I use them incorrectly. I’m hoping to create a well-crafted and beautiful chair while learning how to use my tools the right way.”