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Richard Bissell

The Arts

BMAC presents woodworking workshop tour

Admission is $10 (free for BMAC members). Register at

PUTNEY—Fine woodworker Richard Bissell will lead a tour of his workshop and showroom on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m., offered in connection with the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) exhibit “Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers: Evolving Traditions.”

Bissell’s contribution to the exhibit is a four-poster bed inspired by the work of brothers Charles and Henry Greene, whose architectural firm, Greene & Greene, designed a house and furniture for David and Mary Gamble, of Procter & Gamble fame, in 1908. Bissell created this bed for the great-grandson of the Gambles.

The Greene brothers were also known for their use of mahogany with ebony accents, but with these woods now subject to over-harvesting and illegal logging, Bissell used locally available curly maple and ebonized walnut instead.

Bissell has been designing and building handmade furniture since 1982. He has developed a line of Shaker furniture, Mission furniture, and Windsor chairs, and he creates custom furniture and built-ins.

“My approach to furniture design is inspired by the clean lines and details, graceful proportions, quality craftsmanship and focus on function that is the foundation of Shaker furniture designs,” Bissell writes on his website.

Bissell is among the 21 members of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers and collaborating artists whose work is featured in “Evolving Traditions,” on view through Feb. 13, 2022.

Tom Bodett, Timothy Clark, Greg Goodman, and Charles Shackleton led the creation of the exhibit, inspired by changing concepts of “home” and “work” during the pandemic as well as by an increasing focus among Guild members on sustainable furniture-making practices.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #641 (Wednesday, December 1, 2021). This story appeared on page B2.

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