Presented by Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA)
“Enriching and Connecting our Island Community”

Tom Hancock

Tom Hancock

What do blue jeans and wine barrels have in common? The obvious answer is nothing, but I’ve recently learned that’s not the case. The answer is Tom Hancock! In his professional life, Tom spent 25 years working for Levi Strauss & Co. and, to destress from long hours at the office, he turned to woodworking. Tom told me that he has always enjoyed working with his hands building, repairing, and creating “stuff”. “Working with wood has always intrigued me. It’s a flexible medium that can be made into abstract designs or functional items.” 

 

The idea of Grasshopper Woodworks was born a few years ago when Tom came across a resource for old wine barrels. The next step was to figure out what to do with them. Tom says “it’s been fun and inspiring to come up with ideas on how to turn the barrel staves, tops, and bottoms into functional items.  It’s like breathing new life into old “bones” and giving them a new purpose.” His creations include tables, candle holders, wine racks, and other assorted items. Nothing ever goes to waste, not even the barrel rings, which are turned into metal yard art globes. If you’d like to see these in person you just have to swing by the newly completed Guemes Island Community Center stage at Schoolhouse Park. Tom has generously donated quite a few of these to be used throughout the landscaping. They lend an air of industrial rusticity and beautifully accent the surroundings.

 

 Why Guemes Island? Tom and his wife, Karen, had a sailboat which they kept at Cap Sante Marina, and they always wondered where the little ferry went to that ran back and forth from Anacortes. So, one day they jumped aboard, and the rest is history! They were living in Seattle at the time and looking for a place to escape from city life. It’s been 28 years and they continue to enjoy their life on Guemes with friends and family. According to Tom, “Guemes Island is a special place as everyone who lives here knows.”

 

Island life isn’t new to Tom and his wife. They started married life living in Hawaii while Tom was in the Navy. He was born in California and lived there until he was 6 years old. After that his family moved to Oahu, Hawaii where he went to grade school and high school. He went to college at Pacific University in Forrest Grove, Oregon and studied Business Admin. After college, he joined the Navy and spent the next 6 years in the Submarine Service on board the USS KAMEHAMEHA, a Polaris Missile Submarine, stationed in Pearl Harbor! He met Karen while in Connecticut attending Submarine School. 

 

When he’s not out creating in his shop, he and Karen enjoy traveling, seeing new places, or just visiting friends and family.  Of course, when you’re as handy as Tom, there are always those “honey do’s” that can keep you busy.

 

Tom’s works are for sale. He shows at the local Guemes Island shows or at his shop. You can contact his via email: guemes@sbcglobal.net  or call 360-293-5740 for an appointment. 

Tom HancockWhat do blue jeans and wine barrels have in common? The obvious answer is nothing, but I’ve recently learned that’s not the case. The answer is Tom Hancock! In his professional life, Tom spent 25 years working for Levi Strauss & Co. and, to destress from long hours at the office, he turned to woodworking. Tom told me that he has always enjoyed working with his hands building, repairing, and creating “stuff”. “Working with wood has always intrigued me. It’s a flexible medium that can be made into abstract designs or functional items.” 

 

The idea of Grasshopper Woodworks was born a few years ago when Tom came across a resource for old wine barrels. The next step was to figure out what to do with them. Tom says “it’s been fun and inspiring to come up with ideas on how to turn the barrel staves, tops, and bottoms into functional items.  It’s like breathing new life into old “bones” and giving them a new purpose.” His creations include tables, candle holders, wine racks, and other assorted items. Nothing ever goes to waste, not even the barrel rings, which are turned into metal yard art globes. If you’d like to see these in person you just have to swing by the newly completed Guemes Island Community Center stage at Schoolhouse Park. Tom has generously donated quite a few of these to be used throughout the landscaping. They lend an air of industrial rusticity and beautifully accent the surroundings.

 

Why Guemes Island? Tom and his wife, Karen, had a sailboat which they kept at Cap Sante Marina, and they always wondered where the little ferry went to that ran back and forth from Anacortes. So, one day they jumped aboard, and the rest is history! They were living in Seattle at the time and looking for a place to escape from city life. It’s been 28 years and they continue to enjoy their life on Guemes with friends and family. According to Tom, “Guemes Island is a special place as everyone who lives here knows.”

 

Island life isn’t new to Tom and his wife. They started married life living in Hawaii while Tom was in the Navy. He was born in California and lived there until he was 6 years old. After that his family moved to Oahu, Hawaii where he went to grade school and high school. He went to college at Pacific University in Forrest Grove, Oregon and studied Business Admin. After college, he joined the Navy and spent the next 6 years in the Submarine Service on board the USS KAMEHAMEHA, a Polaris Missile Submarine, stationed in Pearl Harbor! He met Karen while in Connecticut attending Submarine School. 

 

When he’s not out creating in his shop, he and Karen enjoy traveling, seeing new places, or just visiting friends and family.  Of course, when you’re as handy as Tom, there are always those “honey do’s” that can keep you busy.

 

Tom’s works are for sale. He shows at the local Guemes Island shows or at his shop. You can contact his via email: guemes@sbcglobal.net  or call 360-293-5740 for an appointment.

Find more examples of his work here