NEW GLOUCESTER — A celebration marking the town’s creative economy and furniture-making tradition will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. May 7 at the Vestry of the First Congregational Church.

Four local furniture makers who create works at their home-based shops will exhibit their work and discuss their craft.

Christian Becksvoort, Pat Plourde, Eric Ritter and Lou Charlett will display their work.

In addition, New Gloucester’s original furniture makers, the Sabbathday Lake Shakers, will display pieces from their collection.

Becksvoort is a leading authority and Shaker furniture specialist.

He has restored original Shaker pieces and taught at the Shaker Village and written a book featuring Shaker furniture.

He has run a one-man shop since the mid-1970s when he initially worked for Thomas Moser in Lower Gloucester.

Becksvoort’s one-man shop is located on a dirt road where he creates a large line of works influenced by the Shakers.

Patrick Plourde works from his home and specializes in sculpture and studio furniture in steel and wood. A graduate of the Portland School of Art, over the past 25 years he has designed furniture and fixtures for nationally renowned retailers including LL Bean, Timberland and Whole Foods. Collectors of his works include Ralph Lauren, Robert DeNiro, the Portland Museum of Art and the Payson Art Gallery in Portland.

Furniture-maker Lou Charlett has designed and built hand created fine furniture in his New Gloucester home studio for 28 years.

And, Eric Ritter, a member of the New Gloucester Economic Development Committee, spearheaded the upcoming event.

For more than 10 years Ritter has been combining craftsmanship, resilient materials and sustainable art in his furniture designs.

His original designs combine wood and metal.

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, his home is his workshop.

The event features live music, food from local businesses and a “build your own toolbox” table for the kids. It is the New Gloucester Economic Development Committee’s second annual business forum.

The event is free and open to the public.


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