LITCHFIELD — Grace Woodworking LLC chose a charming and iconic space for their new business in Litchfield: adjacent to the entrance to White Memorial. The building had previously housed Dutch Epicure bakery, a bicycle shop and Braeval Scottish clothing.
A few days after its grand opening, tropical storm Isaias battered the state of Connecticut, leaving in its wake downed trees and wires, barricaded roads and 500,000 powerless residents. The owners of Grace Woodworking, Zach DeBisschop and his wife Chiara, took it as a good omen that their shop still had electricity and WiFi.
Zach comes from a long history of woodworkers and furniture makers, including his grandfather and father. He began his own passion for woodworking at the Yacht Restoration School of Technology and Trades in Newport, R.I., where he built wooden boats. He was employed at the prestigious Anchor & Canvas company — a design and build shop based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn — where he furthered his talents and expertise in the fabrication of one-of-a-kind furniture pieces.
Three years ago, he went on his own, working in a 2,000 square-foot workshop in Harwinton, completing commissions for designers. His website describes his furniture as “Distinguished by superior quality materials, and a mix of new technology with time-tested techniques.” At the same time, he brought Charlie the labradoodle into his life, who is now the mascot of the newly opened shop named after his grandmother.
Zach has also curated several local artists to include their fine art in the shop to complement his handcrafted furniture. Several contemporary abstractions with natural images accented with gold leaf created by Kate Tortland hang on the walls; handcrafted jewelry by Theresa Gannett adorns a shelf, and just beneath the rustic ceiling beams, two long shelves feature an array of leather shoulder clutches and large tote bags handmade by Anthropic Leathers by Michael Lussier and Matthew Johnson. Colorful pottery by Annie McGinnis-Issa, and nature-inspired designs on crystal by Anne Marie Papineau studio — which is just up the road from Grace Woodworking — are also featured.
As an example of DeBisschop’s work, the distinctive desk at the back of the shop was created in white oak, with the cladding design on the bottom sanded and whitewashed by Chiara, who will be working part-time in the shop.
Grace Woodworking LLC is located at 503 Bantam Road in Litchfield. Shop hours are: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, and 12:30.-5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call at 860-484-1266, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.gracewoodworkingllc.com.