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Mission and History

Instructors Tom Hucker and Peter Pierobon helping with a steam bend. Photo by Bill Garbus.

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. At the heart of the Center’s mission is the belief that design and craftsmanship are deeply meaningful expressions of the human spirit. They contribute to individual fulfillment and they advance society.

Our programs are for novice, intermediate, and advanced woodworkers who seek an inspiring learning experience in a supportive environment.

 

 

History

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

In 2001, spurred by strong enrollment demand, the Board of Directors launched a successful $2.4 million capital campaign that significantly broadened the Center's base of support and permitted the school to double its student body. Through generous contributions from more than 400 alumni, foundations, corporations, and friends, the campaign allowed the Center to dramatically expand its curriculum and facilities and start a permanent endowment. 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 Woodturning Studio and the Mattina Proctor Finishing Studio.

 

Students and Faculty

In 2013 the school had 369 course enrollments from 35 states and five foreign countries. 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 furniture making schools for those who want to achieve uncompromising standards of excellence in 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, England, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

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

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