What makes a talented aerospace engineer choose woodworking over building airplanes? A passion for creating beautiful designs and functional art with natural materials.

Jonathan Hurst found his love of woodcrafting more than fifteen years ago.
In high school, he took a woodshop class and fell in love. The combination of design, organic materials and  power tools left him smitten.

In college, Jon continued to pursue carpentry, apprenticing under Master Carpenter and general contractor Peter Nalven. While earning a degree in mechanical engineering from Steven’s Institute of Technology Jon continued assisting with major residential additions, renovations, and cabinetry work.

After graduation, Jon began working in the aerospace industry for United Technologies, and took his carpentry tools on the road from New Jersey to Connecticut. He finally touched down in Seattle, Washington, to work on the 787 flight test program where he used the creative freedom of making custom furniture and finished pieces as a balance for the stress of his job.

Throughout the six-plus years that he worked as an aerospace engineer,  wood crafting was his creative outlet. Eventually, Jon thought, “Hey, why shouldn’t I do the thing that I love, all the time?” The idea stuck, and when the time was right in 2011, he decided to turn his passion into his profession.

Jon is now a custom woodworker and licensed general contractor specializing in home fine furniture, cabinetry, and high-end finish carpentry. His experience as a mechanical engineer creates a unique viewpoint, style, and approach to structural design throughout all of his woodcrafting endeavors.

“The projects themselves pull me out of bed and into the shop!  I’m very passionate about my work, and because I’m doing something that I love, I feel that much stronger about what I do, each and every day.”    Jonathan Hurst

The Woodshop

Hurst Custom Furniture works out of Ballard Woodworks and enjoys every minute of it.

The co-op style woodshop, owned by Tom Lee, has a real community feeling and an inspiring wealth of experience to draw upon. Home to small businesses, experienced carpenters, and woodworking students alike, Ballard Woodworks has all of the great tools and equipment Jon needs to make his designs into something real.

Jon invites any of his clients to come and tour the shop while he’s working on their custom project.  You can also follow along on instagram @hurst_furniture

There’s nothing better than watching your own ideas come to life.

Wood Shop