Whip-smart and zestfully passionate, Asher Dunn is a treasure to have on campus. The young industrial designer has gained international recognition for his firm Studio Dunn, where he and his team create beautiful, sustainable furniture, lighting, and household objects. As the guest instructor for the "multiples" section of the Nine-month Comprehensive, Asher is working with students to develop production oriented objects, from desk lamps to bar stools to boxes; he's guiding the students through the procedure of refining a product through multiple design iterations and explorations of material and process. To top it all off, he's been generous enough to take over the school's Instagram account, sharing the many killer photographs he's captured around campus. Here are just a few of the wonderful pictures he's snapped. To see them all, please follow us on Instagram @woodschoolmaine, and while you're at it, follow Asher's design firm @studiodunn!
“Contemporary Wood Design,” a national exhibition showcasing a new generation of furniture makers, is open to the public at the Messler Gallery through January 6.
The exhibition was co-curated by Diana Budds, formerly senior editor at Dwell, and Asher Dunn, founder of StudioDunn in Providence, RI. A young furniture designer himself, Dunn notes that success today requires an arsenal of skills in addition to craftsmanship. “You have to stay on top of continually changing disciplines and trends in design, entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, and much more.”
Sarah Marriage, one of our current Studio Fellows, has been awarded the prestigious John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship from the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. Sarah plans to use the grant toward opening a group shop for women in woodworking. As part of the award, her work is being featured in a show at the SAC's gallery called Stay in Touch: Seven Years of the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship. Work from all seven Mineck award winners will be on display, including that of former Center for Furniture Craftsmanship student and faculty member, Libby Schrum. See more of Sarah's work HERE, and learn more about the Mineck award HERE.
One of our popular summer workshops is the Precision with Hand Tools course taught by Garrett Hack. Through making a small end table, students gain a deep understanding of how to use and fine-tune hand tools for precise, high-quality work. Working efficiently with hand tools instead of machines requires patience and hard work, but can also be a far more pleasant experience for a woodworker, and it imbues a piece with the subtle nuance of the hand of the maker. I'm always impressed by how much students in this class learn and create in just one week.
Incredible things are happening in the Studio Fellowship building these days. The creativity, skill, and work ethic of the five fellows is unparalleled, and they raise the energy level throughout campus with their inspiring work. While their personalities meld together harmoniously, the work they produce has impressive range. From sleek utilitarian functionality, to sculptural studies in form, to conceptual explorations, this group of woodworkers is a fantastic example of how boundless the future of furniture design will be.
At this year's Annual Open House, as guests started to arrive, the walkway became speckled with a polka dot pattern of raindrops. Up above, a single ominous cloud hovered in what was otherwise a bright and sunny sky. Just when the frustrating thought of moving everything inside crept into the minds of the staff, the cloud floated away just as inconspicuously as it had approached. It was a huge relief; although, to be fair, rain hasn't stopped us from having a blast before.
Each year at the end of June members of our local community are invited to our biggest party. With food and drink in hand, guests perused the New Work by Faculty exhibit in the Messler Gallery, as well as the many works in progress by current students and studio fellows throughout campus.