Next Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern, registration will be open on our ticketing site for classes in the second half of this year – including two from visiting instructors. (Note that if you click through to read more about each class, you’ll see a “buy tickets” button – but you can’t buy tickets until 10 a.m. Feb. 21.)
Classes are limited to six students (seven for one class…because Will Myers travels with his bench, thus we’ll have an extra), so each student gets plenty of attention from the instructor…whether they want it or not. And if you want to take a class and travel with your family, there’s plenty of fun and interesting stuff around here for the non-woodworking visitor.
• Build a Gibson Chair with Christopher Schwarz, June 26-30
• Build the “Anarchist’s Tool Chest” with Megan Fitzpatrick, July 10-14
• Make a “Jennie” Chair with Travis Curtis, Oct. 2-7
• Make a Shaker Candle Stand with Will Myers, Oct. 21-22
In addition to the classes mentioned above, we’re taking applications for an Aug. 14-18 Comb Back Stick Chair class with Christopher Schwarz. The class description follows (and includes an explanation as to why we’re trying this approach with this – a relatively advanced – class).
Build a Comb-Back Stick Chair with Christopher Schwarz
Cost: $1,800 (price includes all materials and lunch every day)
2023 Class Description, Tools & Materials
Build a comfortable stick armchair in the vernacular tradition using many tools and materials that are familiar to the typical woodworker.
The form is inspired by historic examples of 18th- and 19th-century stick chairs from Wales that have been refined by John Brown and Christopher Williams – two of my favorite chairmakers. I designed this version to be built with American woods, familiar bench tools and a few specialty chairmaking tools.
Students will be encouraged to customize their chairs (no two stick chairs should be alike). The hands, armbow and comb can all be changed to suit the builder’s style. Students also will be shown how to design their chairs to be more contemporary or ancient-looking. (Stick chairs are chameleons.)
While stick chairs are an ideal form for a first-time chairmaker, it does require intermediate woodworking skills, plus some muscle and stamina. Students should be very comfortable with edge tools and be able to sharpen and maintain them. You will need to be adept with a cordless drill. And be prepared for hours of shaving while on your feet (we have wooden floors here, FYI).
This class requires long hours and will make you tired (but happy at the end of the day). Because of the nature of this class, we bring in lunch every day for students. Plus, all materials (wood, glue etc.) are included in the cost of the class. So the price is higher than a typical week-long class.
This class will be filled via a somewhat random drawing. To apply, send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “August 2023 Chair Class” by Feb. 24. In the email, please let us know your name, and the most difficult woodworking project you have built on your own (not in a class). And, using no more than four sentences, let us know why you want to take this class (personal enlightenment, professional development, you want to teach others etc.) There are no right or wrong reasons.
Why are we trying this application process? We’ve watched some students who are extremely skilled or others who are new to the craft get frustrated because the pace of the class is too slow or too fast. We are simply trying to find a pool of students with similar skills. If we have a big group of beginners, we will put together a beginner class. Likewise if the applicants are mostly advanced woodworkers, we will gather a class of experts. We are just trying to improve the classroom experience for everyone.
On March 1, we will let everyone know who is in the class and who is on the wait list.