The Wood Whisperer: John Hall’s Frame


One half of the famous Hall Brothers designed this piece of art.
By Marc Spagnuolo
Pages: 22-25

From the August 2009 issue #177
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History was never an interest for me. It was my least favorite subject in school and much to my professor’s dismay, I found that class to be a great place to catch up on some much-needed sleep. But as a woodworker, I am beginning to change my tune.

Recently, I have become infatuated with Greene & Greene furniture. Darrell Peart’s book “Greene & Greene: Design Elements for the Workshop” (Linden) was my first real introduction to the techniques behind this style.

Oddly enough, the first piece in the book that caught my eye was not even a Greene & Greene creation. It was a walnut frame with ebony plugs, designed and built by John Hall. John and his brother Peter were the lesser-known geniuses behind what we recognize today as the “Greene & Greene” style. They were the craftsmen who took the Greenes’ designs and brought them to life in wood. And judging by the whimsical yet elegant nature of this frame, the Halls were capable designers in their own right.

Recently, I attended a Darrell Peart class at the William Ng School in Anaheim, Calif. Peart mentioned that he knew the grandson of Peter Hall and would arrange for him to bring the original Hall frame to the class. I am pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor when I heard the news.


From the August 2009 issue #177
Buy this issue now