Chris Schwarz's Blog

A Class I Wish I Could Take

I’ve always admired Garrett Hack’s furniture, especially after I examined a piece in detail that a friend of mine owns. Some furniture looks good in photographs. Some looks good in person. Hack’s looks good in both.

One of his specialties are the fine details he puts into his work, including inlay and stringing. These small touches are what separates him from other people who work in Federal, Shaker and contemporary styles.

Hack also happens to be thoughtful and patient. Though he writes at times for a competitor (something I wish I could change), I’ve always wanted to take a class with him on inlay , a skill I’d like to improve.

When I was in Germany last week teaching at Dick GmbH, one of the company’s employees mentioned that Hack was going to be teaching two short courses (in English) there in October , including one on decorative details.

If you are going to Bavaria (or want to), I highly recommend the Dick workshop experience. As I noted in some earlier posts about my class, the facility there is first-rate, especially for hand-tool users. Everyone gets a box of sharp tools, a heavy Ulmia bench and pastries in the afternoon (I am still going through almond croissant withdrawl).

Plus, the area where the workshop is located outside Deggendorf is beautiful. The Bavarian Alps fill the sky. The people are very nice to non-German-speakers and the food is delicious (especially if you love meat).

The other surprising thing (for me) was that my expenses were reasonable in and around Deggendorf. Unlike Stuttgart or Frankfurt, I found that area of Bavaria to be a bargain for food and lodging.

Hack is teaching two classes:

Precision Hand Tools on Oct. 24-25.

Decorative Details on Oct. 26-28.

You can get all the details on Dick’s web site. And if you go, please say hello to Hack for me and buy him a weissbier.

– Christopher Schwarz

5 thoughts on “A Class I Wish I Could Take

  1. Corey Megal

    Great post, Chris. Garrett has been to the Wisconsin Woodworker’s Guild a couple times in the past few years. Mostly because I am also a huge fan of his work. I’ve taken 2 week long classes of his, and spent a couple of weekends with him as well. I have grown considerably as a woodworker with each of these encounters. I’ve learned how to do inlay, more carefully select wood (I’m still working on that,) how to use my hand planes and chisels to their best advantage, etc. I think one thing I really enjoy about learning from Garrett is that he works to a high level of precision and care. He really puts a ton of thought into the work.
    See you at WIA.
    Corey

  2. philip williams

    If you could get Garrett hack and Chris Becksvoort to write for PopWood, I’d cancel my FWW subscription.

  3. Dan Pope

    I had the privilege of taking a 2 week course with Garrett at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in 2001. It was a special treat. A great teacher, very personable and incredibly approachable.

    I agree with Chris C. His are the first articles I read. Unfortunately, he doesn’t blog to my knowledge so Chris S. gives me a daily woodworking fix. – keep it up

  4. Chris C

    I have been reading Hack’s articles at that competitor’s
    magazine for years. He is terrific, and the articles are always
    very informative. Hack and Gary Rogowski could form their own
    magazine and I would subscribe to it.

    Speaking of inlay… my favorite of Hack’s inlays: In a federal
    table, he inlaid a series of pieces that simply looked like
    part of the design. Until you looked closely at which point
    you could see that the inlay formed Morse code with a secret
    message! I love stuff like that. Beautifully done too.

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