February 17 - May 8, 2020
October 26, 2020 – January 22, 2021
February 22 – May 14, 2021
Our twelve-week Furniture Intensive is designed to meet the needs of aspiring professional furniture makers and amateurs on sabbatical from other professions. These include design professionals who want the deep understanding of materials and construction they need to turn their ideas into reality. With two instructors and an assistant available for only twelve students, each participant is able to individualize the course of study to fit his or her interests and level of experience.
To see a listing of alumni, including professions and websites, click here.
The skills available through our curriculum include:
Design – Learn how to develop your own furniture designs by generating and refining ideas through sketching, model making, prototypes, and full-scale drawings, plus participating in 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 stationary and hand-held power tools for stock preparation, joinery, and shaping of components, including jig making for precise, repeatable results.
Advanced techniques – Laminate bending, steam bending, coopering, working with shop-sawn and commercial veneer, cutting joinery on curved components, and more.
Surface preparation and finishing – Preparing wood with planes, 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 course divides into three segments. The first two weeks cover our Basic Woodworking curriculum, which explores the essentials of furniture making with an emphasis on hand skills. Each student designs and constructs a project with hand-cut dovetail and mortise-and-tenon joinery. For the second segment (6 weeks), students learn to design and build solid-wood casepieces with doors and drawers. The final segment (4 weeks) focuses on curved components and veneer, including techniques for steam bending, laminate bending, coopering, and re-sawing of veneer. Each student designs and constructs a challenging piece that requires one or more of these techniques.
The faculty for the twelve-week Furniture 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.
- No application is required. Participants are selected on a first-come, first-served basis. The curriculum is best suited to self-motivated individuals who have strong work ethics.
All experience levels welcome, except for absolute beginners.
Enrollment limited to 12.