O.H. Harris' Curved Creations

A local cabinetmaker imbues creativity into his straight-edged designs



A closeup of “Escape Velocity” (walnut, fumed eucalyptus, holly-dyed veneers, shellac, varnish; 46”W 33”H 19.5”D), Harris' contribution to the New Hampshire Furniture Masters Main Event

Photo by Bill Truslow

People often say they can’t draw a straight line. In woodworking, straight is easy, but curves are complex problems. Cabinetmaker and furniture artist Owain Harris claims, “Curves are my thing.” Indeed, he has designed and built cabinets for the curvilinear interior of an Airstream trailer, and he loves the challenges of curved inlays for his casework, admitting, “There is not much room for error.”

Harris, of Barnstead, started as a framing carpenter in his 20s. He “fell in love with making things” and went on to apprentice with a New Hampshire furniture and cabinet maker. Now working in a cooperative workspace in Deerfield, he custom designs mid-century cabinets, Arts and Crafts and French Art Deco entry doors, classic mantels and curved window sashes.

Eighteenth-century furniture makers, whose work is now in museums, were also cabinet makers — the skills are virtually the same. Harris’ fine furniture pieces include elaborate casework with a modern touch using exotic and classic woods, while curves are seen in bowed fronts and whimsical holly wood inlays.

This year, Harris was invited to exhibit in the annual New Hampshire Furniture Masters Main Event, where all work is sold to the highest bidder at a closing auction. His piece for the auction is the sideboard shown here, which he explains as “firework display in wood” created by the tension of the formality of the case visually forcing the inlay through the top of the cabinet.

Harris shares his skills by teaching each year at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, and is a member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. Contact him directly for commission work.


New Hampshire Furniture Masters Main Event

An exhibition of works from this year's event runs from September 21 to October 1 at 3S Artspace, 319 Vaughan St., Portsmouth, with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on September 21.

The Main Event, including live and silent auctions and a reception with the Masters, will take place on October 1 from 1 to 7 p.m. at 3S Artspace.

For more information, visit furnituremasters.org.

More NH artisans you might be interested in

Monique Sakellarios' Romantic Scenery

The painter specializes in local landscapes.

Arts Alert: News from the NH Visual Art World

An event, a book release, and a new gallery to check out this fall

Starring the Granite State

Here’s a chance to see what a local Oscar winner has been up to.

The Communal Charms of Contra Dancing

A new generation takes to the dance floor

Arts Alert: Project Shakespeare

Catch the last performances of the summer from some of the state's youngest Shakespeareans.

Karen Bruson's Local Color

The self-taught painter specializes in capturing the light fantastic.

Riverdale NH

With a new statue in Meredith, a cultural icon will invite you to sit a spell.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. 10 Reasons Why YOU Should Visit the NH Motor Speedway
    Need a good reason to go to a NASCAR race in Loudon? Here are 10 of them. If you still refuse,...
  2. Trish Regan's Granite State Story
    The Fox Business anchor recalls her New Hampshire roots.
  3. New Hampshire Craft Beer: Big Ideas in Small Batches
    In pre-Prohibition days, nearly every town had its very own brewery. Though we’re not quite...
  4. Forever Autumn in the Town of Warner
    A front porch gathering with family and friends for a fall harvest luncheon during Warner Fall...
  5. Arts Alert: News from the NH Visual Art World
    An event, a book release, and a new gallery to check out this fall
  6. 11 Fabulous Fall Foliage Drives
    Try these byways for peak leaf-peeping.
  7. Exploring Sandwich and its History
    Pay a visit to the home of NH's own Great Wall
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags