The master of furniture

Geoff Hannah is one hell of a craftsman. After 50 years of making furniture (‘making’ is not the right word here... ‘crafting’ is better.) After 50 years of crafting exquisite pieces of furniture, the Lismore master craftsman has offered up his latest and most ambitious work for public viewing.

After a stint at Lismore Regional Gallery, the awe-inspiring Hannah Cabinet (pictured) is currently on display at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina.

His previous two major works grace the residence of the Governor General in Canberra and a private collection in Antwerpen, Belgium.

Awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1980, Geoffrey travelled to England and France to study furniture from the period 1635-1850. Time spent in workshops of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Palace of Versailles in France were particular highlights of this study tour, as were the special privileges and after hours visits to the Louvre in Paris.

His most recent labour of love, the Hannah Cabinet, was created in 5000 hours over six-and-a-half years. It contains 34 fine timbers and veneers, 17 types of stone, four types of shell and 23-carat gold leaf. It contains 18 doors and 140 drawers.

The predominant timber used is Brazilian mahogany, with solid ebony columns and 23-carat gold gilding. (This is not IKEA.)

It’s a labyrinth of hidden drawers and delicate inlays of timbers and precious stones.

Geoff Hannah will take you on a tour of the Hannah Cabinet at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina on Friday, November 20, at 11am, and on Sunday, November 22, at 2pm.

For more info phone the gallery on 6681 6167.


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