Meet the Makers at 110 N Main

If you are going to read any of my blog posts, this is the one to read! I am delighted to introduce to you my friends and fellow shop mates: Seth, Emily and Nate! Seth and I started the wood shop last June and he runs his business making furniture, cabinets and architectural woodwork out of the space; Emily started renting bench space this winter while she has been developing a line of products for her new business and Nate is our resident woodturner who comes in on evenings and weekends, turns bowls and listens to The Grateful Dead. Read on to learn about who they are, what they do and how they became woodworkers!

Seth Capista

Seth and I are kindred spirits in a sense, we both went down similar paths in life and have run into each other along the way. We both say we’re from Ithaca, NY, but really Seth grew up in Trumansburg and I grew up in Lansing (each about 20 mins outside of Ithaca). As teenagers, we went to the same summer camp in the foothills of the Berkshires. As adults, we both got into woodworking around the same time and shared an apartment in Boston to attend The North Bennet Street School. It only made perfect sense that we would start a wood shop together after graduating.

Seth Capista lives and works with his wife Anna on their farm in Conway, MA where they grow veggies and flowers, tap maples and raise hens. In a nutshell, he is a builder of wooden things.  Furniture, cabinets, houses, knick knacks, tools, etc.  His work marries the old with the new and he always strives to do the task at hand faster and better.

20160322 Seth Capista, Federal arm chair 2.jpg

What got you into woodworking?

I was building an outhouse on a farm I used to run, I realized quickly that I was better at building than farming and I also enjoyed it more.  

Whats your background with woodworking? 

I took a class on cabinetmaking at The New England School of Architectural Woodworking in 2012.  I worked in a few cabinet shops and realized I wanted to take the fine woodworking route that was a little more fulfilling.  I ended up quitting my job and attending the North Bennet St. School in Boston where I studied period furniture making.  I don't build much period furniture anymore, but I take the techniques and knowledge and apply it to all kinds of building practices. 


Favorite woodworker or role model:

There is only one answer for this question.  My teacher and mentor, Lance Patterson.  He’s such an inspiring and amazing person, he wont accept half-assing and will push you to do your best work.

Favorite thing about Western Mass:

River swims in the summer.  

Favorite hand tool:

Blue tape.  Kind of a joke, but also not.  Its a .005" shim, a clamp, a label, and I guess you can use it to mask stuff off too.  My second choice would probably be my vintage Stanley No. 71 1/2 Router Plane.  Its stamped 1901 and it works like a charm. 


You can find Seth at and on Instagram @seth_capista_woodworking


Emily Deutchman

I met Emily when I moved to the Pioneer Valley and got to know her by renting out bench space at Oxbow Design Build, where she was shop manager. Emily knows a ton of people in the area and she is a natural networker and community organizer. She is creator and lead organizer of the group We Are Makers, which is a resource platform providing peer support & collaboration to increase the visibility & profit of female & gender non-conforming makers in Western Massachusetts.

Emily Deutchman is a fine artist turned furniture maker, product designer and sculptor. She has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Fine Art from Skidmore college, and studied furniture design and fabrication at the Center of Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, ME. Her paintings have been featured in New York Magazine and The Huffington Post. She has worked with a number of artists including William Pope L. and Ellen Frank. While living in Brooklyn, she worked as a furniture conservation technician at Fine Wood Conservation. Most recently, she worked as the lead shop carpenter and shop manager at Oxbow Design Build in Easthampton, MA. Now, under the name Emily Deutchman Design, Emily is working on creating a line of small home products, focusing on simple and clean forms taking aesthetic inspiration from Japanese and Shaker design.

FB_20140409_22_50_07_Saved_Picture-Emily’s MacBook Pro.jpg

What got you into woodworking?

After deciding that the world of "fine art" was not for me, I decided I was interested in a career in applied arts. I love the utilitarian aspect of the objects I create as a framework to guide my aesthetic decisions. I took a few wood working courses and fell in love with wood as a material- specifically the ways in which the possibilities and limitations inform the fabrication of an object. Wood is complicated and varied, it takes a lot of experimentation to develop an understanding of how it behaves. The negotiation of the material, the purpose and the design is extremely exciting to me.

Whats your background with woodworking? 

I only truly began working with wood six or seven years ago. I took a couple of courses at a community shop in Brooklyn that doesn't exist anymore, and immediately enrolled in an intensive nine-month furniture making program at the Center For Furniture Craftsmanship. After finishing at CFC, I worked as a carpenter's assistant, a furniture conservator, and most recently as a lead fabricator at a design/build shop. 


Favorite woodworker or role model:

Some incredible contemporary female woodworkers who I look to are Heide Martin, Mattie Hinkley and Yuri Kobayashi all of whom push the boundaries of "Art" and "craft" 

Favorite thing about Western Mass:

I tell my friends that Western Mass is a perfect combination of farmers and Intellectuals. 

Favorite hand tool:

Probably my baby 2.5" starrett square, or my Lie Nielsen block plane

What inspires you?

I'm inspired by process. Time seems to slip away when I'm working on a project. Craft is unique in it's engagement of the physical and the mental: problem solving and physically interacting with objects in real space. I love beautiful things (a real Taurus)- not just looking at them, but touching, holding and interacting with physical objects. 

7 x 7 corner.jpg

You can find Emily at and on Instagram @emmsterdam


Nathaniel Groppe

Nate and I met at The North Bennet Street School and went through the Preservation Carpentry program together. At the time, we both lived in Jamaica Plain so we ended up running into each other on the train ride to the North End, we started carpooling to job sites together and quickly became good friends.

Nathaniel Groppe is a timber framer, wood worker and gnome enthusiast. He is originally from the Boston area, but now lives in Montague, MA after stints in Vermont, NYC and California. He lives with his future wife, Maylis, and their dog, Leo. 

What got you into woodworking?

My initial interest in woodworking came from trying to find a way to make a living while getting to be creative and use my hands. My first love is definitely visual arts. I have always loved drawing, painting and sculpting. I think woodworking came as a natural extension of my art background and seemed like it had a more practical application. Seems a bit easier to convince someone to pay me for a turned bowl then a strange painting of a gnome. I don’t want to sound like my only interest in woodworking and carpentry is monetary. What really pulled me into the wonderful world of wood was the artistry of wood working and a desire to be a truly skilled craftsperson. 


Whats your background with making? 

I’ve been creating for as long as I can remember; from crude drawings of the ninja turtles as a young child to the needle felted sculptures I make today. I have always had a deeply rooted desire to create. As far as woodworking goes, I had some very basic knowledge from working as a house painter, custom art crate builder, and working in a picture frame shop, but I began to see the true craft of woodworking while enrolled in the preservation carpentry program at the North Bennet Street School. It was at NBSS that I fell in love with wood turning. I find wood turning, particularly bowl turning, really stimulates my artistic side. As soon as I got on a lathe I was immediately hooked. I find watching wood curls peeling off a beautiful piece of wood and watching a bowl emerge from a rough piece to be a very meditative experience. 

I also fell in love with timber framing and carpentry in general. I have been working as a timber framer/carpenter for the past several years and I find it to be very satisfying. In wood turning, furniture making and timber framing, we are creating utilitarian sculptures; homes, bowls and chairs that have to serve a function, but also have to be visually pleasing. As a crafts person I hope to exist somewhere right in the middle of form and function.


What inspires you?

Everything inspires me; music, well made art and crafts I encounter, the woods and nature, my fiancé, beautiful well made houses, funky figured wood grain, my friends and family. I have always liked being surrounded by creative people. I grew up in a family that highly valued creativity and that has definitely stuck with me. Watching and collaborating with friends as they create always gives my creativity a little kick. 

Favorite thing about Western Mass:

Definitely the nature. I often find myself in awe of the beauty of the landscape here. I love my peaceful house in the forest.


Favorite hand tool:

My 3/8ths bowl gouge or my 1 1/2” framing chisel but it really depends on the task at hand. Love my low angle block plane when I’m on the job too. 

Favorite woodworker or role model:

I’m not sure I have a favorite woodworker or role model. While I’m certainly inspired by lots of artists and craftspeople, I think it’s important to walk my own path and not compare or value myself based on anyone else. In terms of my career as a carpenter, I think my uncle Jerry Sawma, who was a master timber framer, was a real inspiration to me. I can only hope that I’ll look back on my career with the same respect that I look at his. . 


You can find Nathaniel in the woods.