Behind the Scenes with Rick Hammans Woodworking, Spring Market Featured Artisan

Love and respect for master craftsmanship constantly inspires Rick Hammans to create the best of original chairs and use of the scraps for additional unique wood creations.

FF: How did you begin your handmade journey?

RHW: I have always been a person that would rather build something than buy it. My father was a woodcarver and woodworker, so I started at a very young age. That was built upon by woodshop in high school, where I started to learn the basic techniques. After high school, I built as much of my own furniture as I had time for. I am a retired teacher and woodworking gave me a different thrill. I could see the immediate results of what I was building whereas with teaching your results don’t usually show up immediately.

FF: What led you to your current line of goods?

RHW: Building chairs really sparked something in me 20 some years ago, when I first became aware of Sam Maloof and his rocking chairs. I became obsessed with building rocking chairs that were graceful, comfortable and would become something to be passed down through the generations.

FF: What materials do you work with & why?

RHW: My rocking chairs are built using urban lumber. Usually when trees die or are cut down in urban areas they are either chopped up for firewood or sent to the landfill. I take those otherwise underused trees and have them run through a sawmill and dried or buy from a lumber dealer who does the same. My Adirondack chairs are built from retired wine or liquor barrels. It takes almost a whole barrel to produce a chair and what is left over is what I use for the other accessories I make.

FF: Inspiration comes from where?

RHW: I believe that art can be beautiful and functional at the same time.

FF: What excites you for the future?

RHW: Finding different woods for my rocking chairs and also developing my own version of a rocking chair/cradle combination. Sam Maloof built magnificent cradles and said that all other work in his shop stopped when a baby was coming, I like that.

FF: Any advice for makers and biz entrepreneurs new to our creative community?

RHW: Build what excites you and if you don’t have the skills you need, go learn them from someone who has them. Craftsmanship is dying a slow death.

FF: If you have a strong partnership with a non-profit org, what is it and what inspired you to do this?

FF: If you have a strong partnership with a non-profit org, what is it and what inspired you to do this?

RHW: No single non-profit but many of my creations end up donated to silent auctions. It is my way of trying to build appreciation for handmade and unique things.

Sit, visit and shop with Rick Hammans Woodworking at Firefly Handmade Spring Market, May 21-22, 10-4, Twenty Ninth Street shopping district , 1710 29th St. (between Canyon & Walnut), Boulder, CO.


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