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Who is Matthew Burak?

Matthew BurakMatthew Burak began his journey as a craftsman at a very young age in his native California. His grandfather, John Norman Goldsborough was an accomplished woodworker in the English tradition, and was an early influence on Matt. Matthew still uses Grandpa Goldsborough’s chisels and hand planes in his workshop today.

Matt was unchallenged by formal schooling, but by the time he was 16, he had installed a custom wood interior in a vintage Jaguar sedan, built his first serious furniture pieces, and rebuilt three or four Volkswagen engines, too.

In his early twenties, Matt turned to boat building and the crafting of boat interiors in particular. After living in Bellingham, Washington, he migrated east to Vermont, drawn by his developing passion for the furniture and architecture of Colonial New England.

Matt created and ran a phenomenally successful cabinet shop for many years in Danville, Vermont. Matthew Burak Furniture was well known throughout the Eastern States and beyond for its high-quality period-style line of furnishings, all designed by Matthew.

The “table leg business” grew up within Matthew Burak Furniture. Matt, ever the entrepreneur, chose to focus on the challenges of building the wood turning business. 

Matt lives with mild dyslexia, and one of the upsides of his affliction is a tremendous ability to see and think spatially. As Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard notes, “dyslexics often have a great sense of proportion. They make great sculptors.” Matthew is the creator of all the designs the company makes. It is the design, proportion and balance of each turning that distances all Classic Designs products from the competition.

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