Letter Carving 2012

Mission

The mission of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship is to provide the best possible education for people who want to design and build functional, beautiful, and expressive work out of wood to the highest standard of craftsmanship. 

Philosophy

At the heart of the Center’s mission is the belief that design and craftsmanship are deeply meaningful expressions of the human spirit that contribute to individual fulfillment and inform the larger culture.

Vision

The Center aims to have an enduring, positive impact on the field of wood craftsmanship and design by providing a diverse community of novice, intermediate, and advanced woodworkers—both amateur and professional-track—with inspiring learning experiences in a supportive and inclusive environment.

Founding Values

We strive to teach as effectively and generously as possible, to help students develop their own aesthetic voices, to provide opportunities for life-transforming educational experiences, and to honor integrity in craftsmanship and in every facet of the Center’s operations.

History

The Center was founded by Peter Korn, in 1993, to meet the educational needs of contemporary woodworkers. It began as a summer workshop program in a barn behind his house and moved to its present location in 1996. The Center became a non-profit organization in 1999, and Korn served as Executive Director until his retirement in 2021.

In 2001, spurred by strong enrollment demand, the Board of Directors launched a successful $2.4 million capital campaign that significantly expanded programs and facilities, and established an endowment, with generous contributions from more than 400 alumni, foundations, and friends. In 2005, the school added a state-of-the-art woodturning studio. In 2012, the Center completed a campaign to raise $3 million in new endowment to fund scholarships, establish a visiting artist program, and improve faculty compensation. In 2013, the facilities expanded again with the new Whittington Woodshop and the Mattina Proctor Finishing Studio.

Most recently, in 2021, CFC completed a $6.1 million Education and Impact: Endowing our Future campaign to sustainably fund Teaching the Teachers scholarships, scholarships to our longer, professional-track courses, financial support for participants in our Fellowship Program, a Chair for Executive Leadership, and an expanded national presence for the Messler Gallery.

Students and Faculty

In 2021, the school had 390 course enrollments from 40 states, Canada, and Brazil. Participants are amateur and professional woodworkers who seek to combine the rich woodworking traditions of the past with modern technologies and aesthetic concerns to create work with contemporary resonance. Almost every course encourages students to design individualized projects. The Center is widely recognized as one of the top schools for those who want to achieve uncompromising standards of excellence in wood craftsmanship and design.

Our instructors are professional woodworkers with exceptional technical expertise and generous teaching skills, who have demonstrated significant engagement with design. Faculty come from across the United States, the U.K., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

In order to provide every student with ample individual attention, enrollment is limited to 12 students per course, served by two or more full-time instructors and support staff. Students enjoy round-the-clock access to the workshops and library, with certain limits on nighttime machine use.

Inclusivity

Center for Furniture Craftsmanship strives to provide a welcoming community and a supportive learning experience to people of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities, races, socio-economic circumstances, political and religious beliefs, sexual orientations, and gender identities. We expect every student, instructor, staff person, Board member, and volunteer to promote an inclusive educational environment on campus.