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Bow Making

Brian Persico
July 13-17

Get in touch with your inner Robin Hood! Students learn to make traditional “self” longbows with handtools. The course starts with a brief overview of the history of the bow and its different styles throughout the world. Students learn to work staves of osage orange with a chalk line and hatchet, followed by a drawknife, spokeshave, and rasp on a shavehorse. Once their bow is shaped, it is tillered to adjust the bend by eye, so the bow flexes perfectly through its entire length. Participants also make bowstrings by hand and protect their bows with appropriate finishes. As time permits, Brian covers more advanced techniques and materials, such as composite bows that combine sinew with wood. The week closes with an archery tournament on Friday afternoon, weather permitting. 

Brian Persico is a designer/maker with a studio in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a degree in Industrial Design in 2009. Currently, Brian divides his time between custom furniture, built on commission, and bows, which he sells through BDDW, a high-end design store in Manhattan. Brian’s bows range from traditional styles to designs of his own that are inspired by Asiatic composite recurves and mid-century American flight bows. Brian’s website is

Open to all.

Tuition: $740

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Persico Bow2Longbow made by Brian Persico

 Bow-Making1Students in the 2014 Bow Making workshop