Visiting Artist Program Update

Written by Heide Martin on .

Our Visiting Artists program invites highly accomplished, professional woodworkers on campus to explore innovation in their work. Visiting Artists share the 6,800-squarefoot Thomas Miller Jackson Building with participants in our Fellowship program, for whom they act as informal mentors. In addition, they enrich the experience of students and faculty in all programs through lectures, critiques and daily interaction.


Visiting Artists are selected by invitation. Previous participants include Peter Fleming (Toronto, ON), Beth Ireland (Roslindale, MA), Michael Puryear (Shokan, NY), and David Upfill-Brown (Australia). Most recently, carver Chris Pye came from Hereford, UK this August to work on a free-form sculpture, allowing himself a freedom of expression that would otherwise be a luxury in his commission-based business structure.

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Chris decided to use an unusual piece of wood for his sculpture. This walnut cylinder is a by-product of veneer manufacturing, and is the core of a veneered log.


Setting the sculpture on its carving stand. A threaded rod secures the sculpture on the carving stand.


While Chris usually works with a design in mind from the start of project, while in the Visiting Artist program he worked in a more freeform manner, responding to the constraints of the material. Here, he marks the lines of the sculpture before shaping the wood.



Tools of the trade.



A grinder can make quick work of the removal of large amounts of material.


A look of concentration during the final phase of shaping the sculpture.

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While Visiting Artists are typically selected through invitation, inquiries are welcome. To learn more about the Visiting Artist program, please see the Courses & Programs section of our website.