CFC Assistantships

Written by Heide Martin on .

Our Workshop season is underway alongside our Furniture Intensive course, so all the buildings are full and bustling with activity. Staff, faculty, and Workshop assistants all work together to provide the highest quality possible experience for our students.

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Our current assistants include: Furniture Intensive assistant Helen Helfand (graduate of our Nine-month Comprehensive), Workshop assistant Jeff Mazur (graduate of our Furniture Intensive and Nine-month Comprehensive), and Workshop assistant Max Pratt (graduate of Rhode Island School of Design).

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The primary role of our assistants is to aid instructors in whatever may be needed to keep the classroom running smoothly. These tasks range widely, from keeping the shop and machines in top shape, to working directly with students one-on-one. Above, assistant Jeff Mazur helps a student carry sheet goods into the classroom.

A critical role that assistants play is oversight in the machine room, assuring that students use the machinery in the most safe and efficient way possible. Below, assistant Jeff Mazur oversees safe resaw work on the bandsaw.  

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However, the day-to-day work of assistants extends beyond proper machine use and safety. Assistants will often work beside students, sometimes becoming students themselves. Workshops in particular develop and require specific skillsets, and assistants will often learn these together with students. This allows them to not only build their own skills, but to be of greater assistance to students. Below, student Helen Helfand sharpening her chisels alongside a student, and assistant Max Pratt practicing carving in Chris Pye’s Next Steps in Carving workshop.

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Assistants are also able to develop their woodworking skills in the classroom, either through their own projects, or in work done for instructors. Below, a series of sample joints made by assistant Max Pratt for instructor Peter Korn, and a tool tote he built while assisting in Peter’s two-week Basic Woodworking class.

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We appreciate the hard work of our assistants in keeping our campus humming. To learn more about our assistantship program, read our blog post The Life of a CFC Assistant and the Assistantships section of our website.

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