WoodSkills Issue 02 - Page 85




A candid conversation with Darrell Peart reveals his background and the inspiration for his exceptional one of a kind Greene and Green styled furniture pieces. Discover more about his journey from his teen age years to highly sought after furniture designer, maker.

WS: How and when did you decide to become a woodworker?

DP: The conscious decision to pursue woodworking as a lifelong career came in 1973 at the culmination of a hitchhiking trip from San Francisco to Seattle (and back again) Prior to this I had been feeling a bit lost. I quit my job (which was woodworking - making laminated beams) and set out to have an adventure. Along with a friend and $20 between us – we thumbed it to SF. On the way back we got a ride with a young woman who made and sold stuff at the Pike Place Market (Seattle). During the long ride home the primary topic of conservation was about being creative – making things. Within a couple of weeks of returning home, I armed myself with a saber saw, blow torch and wire brush – and started making wooden items at the Market. It all progressed from there.

WS: Growing up, who and what inspired you to follow a path in woodworking?

DP: The only direct inspiration came from my great grandfather who was a carpenter. When I was about five years old I was captivated watching him build an addition to a cabin. I especially remember him hanging a window and installing a pocket door – it fascinated me! My mother and father both inspired me – but in an indirect way regarding woodworking. My mother always wanted to be an artist. She would tell me “an artist sees the world differently”. From an early age this had me thinking about art and creative ventures. My Dad was not a creative person but he was hard working and honest. He placed a high value on what he called an “honest effort”. Whenever I was struggling and having a hard time – my Dad’s voice was in my head – “Is this an honest effort?” It kept me going.

y prepared for a specific line of work. Each semester you progressed to a higher level of complexity in joinery. We learned about traditional roof construction, stair making, window and door making with a huge emphasis on safety and quality.

From humble beginnings, one is immediately drawn to the woodworking passion that Darrell Peart exudes. With a woodworking career that spans decades, his woodworking drive and enthusiasm have remained the same, if not grown. Decades of woodworking have provided him an extensive background in high end furniture making. Darrell can be considered a veteran woodworker, having invested time in custom furniture shops to eventually strike out on his own as a furniture maker. Darrell Peart identifies with the Arts & Crafts genre of furniture, specifically Greene & Greene style pieces. Having embraced Greene & Greene, his reputation is synonymous with this style. Although influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement, his work has taken on its own life with new and unique designs.

by Norman Pirollo

Peart embraces the timeless elements of Greene & Greene in his unique furniture designs. He combines tradition and innovation in his work. Darrell Peart has established his own voice and identity in the furniture making world. His work has been shown nationally. Peart is a prolific furniture maker today as well as being an educator and writer. He writes and lectures about topics that are precious to him, namely the history of Greene & Greene, woodworking and furniture design. Exploring new furniture designs is where his current passion lies. Through his teaching, he has no qualms in sharing his extensive knowledge with aspiring woodworkers. The following questions were put to Darrell to shed more light on this expert craftsman and furniture maker. We look forward to seeing more of Darrell Peart's unique and exciting furniture designs.