handcrafted furniture made in maine
In 2011, Brian began the process of voluntarily organizing a community outreach program to teach fine furniture making in the Maine State Prison Industries Program. The Maine Prison Outreach Program (Warren, Maine) commenced in August 2012 and continues its seventh year of operation in 2019. The Maine program is designed to be self-sustaining, and was modeled after the American Furniture Masters Institute's (AFMI) Prison Outreach Program based in New Hampshire.
It's almost ten years since the Maine Prison Outreach Program began. Students in the program create exceptional work with crisp dovetails, mortise-and-tenon joinery and embrace the creative impulse by designing unique pieces, not designs copied from a book. View some of their work-in-action (photos courtesy of Marti Stone Photography).
Howard Hatch currently leads the program; Reid now serves as a backup instructor. Dylan Fuller (far right) taught between 2012-2015.
Maine Prison Outreach furniture can currently be purchased through the Maine State Prison Showroom, 358 Main St., Thomaston, ME.
Over the years, over $40,000 of prisoner furniture has been sold since the program began. One-third of the monies received for furniture sales goes directly to the inmates, one-third is reimbursed to AFMI and remaining one-third is returned to the Maine State Prison Industries Program for materials and supplies. The program is not currently set up to do private commissions.
- Woodworking Behind Bars: Brian Reid teaches prison inmates how to craft fine furniture, Down East, June 2015
- Fine Furniture Created by Inmates from New Hampshire and Maine Correctional Facilities, Fine Woodworking, April 2015
- Made in Prison: Furniture masters teach inmates lessons about art, craft and life, Art New England, November/December 2014
- Out of the Woodwork, Woodshop News, August 2013
- Fine Woodworking Program, Maine State Prison, Warren ME, Courier-Gazette Publications, June 2013