We had the good fortune of connecting with Ethan Hutchinson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ethan, why did you pursue a creative career?
Both my parents are creatives. I grew up seeing that a creative career was as real as any other work. Like most kids however I rejected my parents choices so I began my professional life as an analytical chemist. Within a couple of years I was fairly miserable. Call it Karma or genetics but I found myself drawn to creating. I started building chairs to stay sane but within a year I quit my chemistry job and off I went. That was 32 years ago and I’ve never looked back.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m from a family with a history of woodworking. I grew up in Mass and have generations of woodworkers going back to Shipwrights in the 17 and 1800’s. The day I quit my day job I essentially invented myself. Saying that your a professional woodworker 30 years ago was like saying you were a unicorn rancher. People just nodded their heads and moved on. I was fortunate that people that I went to college with had become successful young professionals. I was able to build a wide range of pieces on a steep learning curve and support my family. From there my client base continued to expand thru word of mouth, this is pre internet, until I had a steady queue of work. It’s never been easy. You’re always on the hustle but here I stand. I think you need to have a delusional belief in your abilities, an unwavering passion for your work and some lucky breaks along the way. Luck does favor the well prepared however.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Honestly I don’t get out much. It’s a six day a week gig. But I’d take them to Cart Driver, Chubby’s on 38th, El Jardin in Commerce City and Top Pho out by my shop. I live in Central Park so I’d take the train with bikes and do a short brewery tour in RINO. Fly fishing on the Eagle in Gypsum or tele skiing in Beaver Creek season depending. We also recently went to the Colorado Pioneer cemetery called Riverside Cemetery and it was an amazing Denver historical experience, if they’re into that
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Like many young woodworkers I was drawn to the work of Sam Maloof. I only met him once at Anderson Ranch class he taught on side chair making. He was generous, gracious and very approachable. I’d also say that in addition to being self taught, using Sam’s books as guides, I also patterned my career after his. Like Sam I chose to be the maker. I chose to be a woodworker and not the owner of a woodworking company
Dave Townsend Photography