February 15 – May 6, 2016
June 6 – August 26, 2016
October 31, 2016 – January 27, 2017
February 22 – May 12, 2017
Our twelve-week Furniture Intensive is designed to meet the needs of aspiring professional furniture makers and amateurs on sabbatical from other professions, including design professionals who want to turn their ideas into reality. The curriculum provides a foundation in essential furniture making skills upon which graduates can confidently build. With two instructors available at all times and only twelve students, participants tailor their projects to fit their interests and level of experience.
The skills available through our curriculum include:
Design – Improving your ability to sketch, render objects, and think in three dimensions. Drafting, design development through models, mock-ups, and prototypes; critiques and discussions of aesthetics.
Lumber selection – Wood characteristics; buying lumber; selecting wood appropriate to your design.
Joinery – Choosing and making the right joint for every situation using both traditional and contemporary methods.
Traditional hand skills – The foundation of fine furniture making: sharpening; use and tuning of chisels, hand planes, saws, and scrapers; hand-cut joinery.
Machine techniques – Use of power tools and routers for stock preparation, joinery, and shaping of components.
Advanced techniques – Laminate bending; steam bending; re-sawing and veneering; jig and fixture making; and more.
Surface preparation and finishing – Preparing wood with cutting tools, scrapers, and abrasives; choosing the right finish for the effect you want; application of finishes.
Shop maintenance – Selection, tuning, and maintenance of woodworking machinery.
Professional practices – Visits to professional workshops to discuss how to run a business, pricing, and marketing.
The curriculum divides into three projects. For the first two weeks we go through the Basic Woodworking course teaching the essentials of furniture making with an emphasis on hand skills. Each student designs and builds a project requiring hand-cut dovetails and mortise-and-tenon joinery. The second project, weeks three through eight, focuses on solid-wood casepiece construction, including door-making and drawer-making. Each participant creates a casepiece with at least one door and one drawer. The third project starts in week nine with a series of lectures and demonstrations on steam bending, laminate bending, and veneer work. Each student designs and constructs a challenging piece using one or more of these techniques.
The faculty for the Twelve-week Intensive is drawn from among the following instructors. Additional faculty may be named as opening dates draw near. Most of the instructors listed have websites, which you can visit for more extensive views of their work. See list of instructors here.
Participants are accepted any time on a first-come, first-served basis. No application is required.
All experience levels welcome, except for absolute beginners.
Enrollment limited to 12.