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Twelve-week Turning Intensive

January 5 - March 27, 2015

Featured in American Woodturner magazine, December 2013.

Click here to read the article about our program.



The Turning Intensive is designed to prepare woodworkers for successful careers as professional turners, and is also open to amateurs who wish to bring their work up to a professional level.




The Turning Intensive curriculum leads students through a sequence of hands-on projects that develop their skills in all facets of woodworking pertinent to creative and professional turning.

Architectural turning: learn to construct and turn columns, balusters, newel posts, and moldings, using techniques for duplication, reeding , fluting , twists, split turning, rosettes, barrel staving, segmenting, and more.

Production turning: learn to turn production bowls, platters, stair parts, furniture parts, and other objects with consistency, speed, and quality.

Creative turning: develop your aesthetic voice by making one-of-a-kind functional and sculptural objects that are turned, carved, and/or sculpted.

Furniture components: learn to turn and join legs, pulls, finials, rungs, and other furniture parts.

Milling: gain competence with the table saw, band saw, router, drill press, lathe, router, and other woodworking machines for stock preparation, forming, and joinery.

Sharpening: learn how to grind and sharpen turning, carving, and woodworking tools such as gouges, skews, v-tools, and chisels.

Tool making: solve unusual turning challenges by making your own turning tools, jigs and attachments.

Business Practices: learn about estimating time and calculating competitive prices in the woodworking market, keeping books and other useful records, and marketing.


Week 1 – Introduction to the Lathe

Students gain hands-on experience in all three turning styles that they will use throughout the course: spindle, faceplate, and end-grain. Participants turn a series of small projects in both wet wood and dry, learning to sharpen and safely use the major turning tools (bowl gouges, spindle gouges, scrapers, parting tools, and skews) and to create their own tools.

Week 2 – Mastering the Spindle

Students learn:

      • to safely prepare stock for spindles from roughsawn lumber
      • to learn production turning as it applies to architectural detail (such as a baluster or a newel post finial) and sculptural form
      • to bead, flute, and hand carve elements
      • to produce, read and translate drawings into 3D objects

Week 3 - End grain and Hollow Turning

Students learn to design and turn hollow vessels from small to large scale. These skills are applicable to both one-of-a-kind art pieces, and to production items such as lamps and lighting fixtures.

Week 4 – Faceplate Turning

Students turn platters and bowls in dry and green wood, with attention to form, grain, and aesthetics. Techniques for carving, coloring, and texturing are introduced.

Week 5 - Making a Stool

Students combine faceplate and spindle turning techniques with turned joinery to build a series of stools.

Week 6 - Barrel Staving

Students use barrel stave construction to develop individual projects such as small architectural columns and table bases.

Weeks 7- 8 – Advanced Techniques

By creating a series of small projects such as lighting fixtures, balls, canes, and other items, students are exposed to a wide range of methods for chucking and holding wood, to jig making, to offset turning, and to many other specialized techniques.

Weeks 9-10 - Multiples

Each student designs and produces a product as a multiple, with careful attention to cost, time, and marketability.

Weeks 11-12 – Individual project

Each student pursues an in-depth exploration of areas of turning which they find most relevant to their future goals. 



Beth Ireland is the Lead Instructor for the Turning Intensive. She has been a professional woodworker in Roslindale, Massachusetts since 1983, specializing in woodturning, furniture, and cabinetry. She holds a graduate degree in sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and her work has been widely exhibited and published throughout the U.S. Her business encompasses everything from one-of-a-kind sculpture to production runs of furniture and turnings. Her website is


Application Process

Participants are accepted any time on a first-come, first-served basis. No application is required. All experience levels welcome, except for absolute beginners.
Enrollment limited to 12.


Tuition: $7,230

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