Form and Surface

Miriam Carpenter & Mark Sfirri
July 24-28

Drawing inspiration from animal forms, participants combine lathe-work, carving, and surface decoration to create compelling sculptural objects. Miriam and Mark share a wealth of technical skills, as well as an effective creative process to develop ideas from concept to completion. Students try out a multitude of techniques and test concepts on sample panels enroute to creating artistic interpretations of animal forms, whether as sculpture or elements of functional wood objects.

Among other topics, the instructors address sketching techniques, many aspects of lathe turning (including multi-axis spindle turning), carving in the round, chip carving, repeat pattern effects, and surface embellishment with textures and paint.

Mark Sfirri has run the Fine Woodworking Program at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania since 1981. In 2010 he received the “Distinguished Educator Award” from the Renwick Alliance of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institutions and, in 2012, a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Collectors of Wood Art. His work is included in 27 public collections including those of the Museum of Arts and Design (New York, NY), the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA), the Renwick Gallery (Washington, DC), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA).

Miriam Carpenter is an artist and designer in New Hope, PA. She began her career by designing furniture alongside Mira Nakashima for seven years after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2006.  In 2014, she was awarded a Windgate ITE Residency sponsored by the Center for Art in Wood. Her work has been exhibited at SOFA Chicago, the Wharton Esherick Museum in Paoli, PA, and the Moderne Gallery and Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia, PA. Miriam is currently Artist in Residence at the Raymond Farm Center for Living Arts and Design in New Hope, PA.


Open to intermediate turners.


Tuition: $770

Sfirri Banks of the WabashFrom the Banks of the Wabash, by Mark Sfirri (from his Game Hunting in North America series), lemonwood and paint (6"x8¾"x6”), 2008

 Carpenter Jaguar TableJaguar Table by Miriam Carpenter, ebonized poplar and maple burl (13½”x13½”x21½”), 2016