The Dinah 2015

Leaders of the Pack

photo by DAVID ARCHAMBAULT
BRENDA HALL
Founder, HnL Woodworking

Brenda Hall is so drawn to woodworking that she made her first piece from found materials. "My first big project I remember was my bunk bed," says Hall. "As a teenager with no money, I went around and collected scrap pieces of wood. I was determined to build things." After 20 years of making cabinets for kitchens and bathrooms in Oregon, Hall packed up her wife and son, moved to the East Coast, and started HnL Woodwork-ing, a custom furniture store in Winsted, Conn. "I realized I need to make what I love," she says. "I like to call my work "functional art." I enjoy making more sculpted and curvaceous pieces." Gallery invites have been piling up for her unique blend of art and furniture, with pieces like candleholders carved into springs and an easel whose slender legs resemble a character of the Japanese alphabet. "My pieces are made to be touched, to feel the tree and its curves under your hand, to feel the new life that has been brought to the tree," Hall explains. For Hall, HnL is focused on creation and rebirth. "I have always had an intense love of nature, primarily trees," she says. "I love the feeling I get bringing the tree back to life through my pieces."
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