Born and raised in Germany, Atta is a master craftsman who gained his love for woodworking from his grandfather. He earned a master’s in economics at the University of Munich, holds a teaching certificate in adult education, and attended the Waldorf high school teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College. Atta taught in numerous community colleges in Germany. Prior to coming to the United States he lived in Tuscany, where he worked as a builder, started his own woodworking shop, began a biodynamic garden, and worked a small farm with grapes and olives.
After moving to Cottage Grove, Oregon, he opened his own wood shop specializing in doors, windows and custom furniture. He also developed wood-turning to a fine art. As operations manager in a small door company in Eugene, he honed his organizational and leadership skills. Also in Eugene, he served as a small claims mediator for the court and eventually branched out to community mediation, human rights advocacy and restorative justice mediation for the juvenile court system. After two years in Vancouver, BC, where his wife, Mary Webb, led a class to their middle school graduation at the Waldorf school, he became the woodwork teacher at the Waldorf School of Garden City for grades five to twelve. He also accompanied two high school classes as adviser to their graduation. In addition to living in Italy, Oregon, and British Columbia, Atta has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, India and North America.