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Around Campus

Discovering Veneer Workshop

Written by Michaela Stone on .

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Veneer has been stigmatized as a fake, cheap way to make man-made goods look like wood. For many, the word elicits a sense of superficiality, even deception. It occupies the same space as laminate floors and formica countertops. In the world of fine furniture making, however, veneer implies complexity, beauty, laborious craftsmanship, and freedom. The use of veneer allows a woodworker to abandon the engineering constraints of wood movement, expanding design possibilities exponentially.

During the two-week Discovering Veneer workshop, students explored the copious design potential of working with veneer, with the guidance of Craig Stevens and Aaron Fedarko.

 

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To hear Craig and Aaron describe the course, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXIAsx4b-b8

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Design Studio Workshop

Written by Michaela Stone on .

Design Studio was one of the new course offerings this year, and the one-week workshop proved to be a great success. Taught by Asher Dunn, a furniture and lighting designer based in Providence, RI, the course focused on the critical first steps for designing furniture for production, as well as the importance of research and market awareness.

Rather than pushing to create a finished piece, students developed many iterations of a single design, both on paper and though model-making. By bringing in a dynamic new instructor and stimulating conversation about the relationship between woodworking and industrial design, this production-centric course was a fantastic compliment to the other, more traditional woodworking courses taking place on campus.

Finishing Workshop

Written by Michaela Stone on .

In my experience, woodworkers tend to have a host of mixed feelings about finishing, apathy rarely being one of them. The right finish, applied in the right way, can transform a nice piece of furniture into one that sparkles with polished beauty. On the other hand, the wrong finish can create undesirable color, texture, sheen, and more, potentially detracting from even the finest craftsmanship. Harnessing the potential of the endless spectrum of finishes is an overwhelming task which one could pursue for a lifetime. Luckily for students at the Center, we have an expert in our midst. Teri Masaschi is a professional finisher and restorer from New Mexico, with extensive experience teaching techniques ranging from traditional hand-applied finishes to cutting-edge spray technology.

Bow Making Workshop

Written by Michaela Stone on .

Former studio fellow Brian Persico taught a two-week bow making course here at the Center, and it was a smash hit. After making their own bows, from spliting a log to weaving their bow strings, the students put their craftsmanship to the test with some target shooting.

The Studio Fellowship

Written by Michaela Stone on .

The Studio Fellowship is a unique program that gives emerging and established woodworkers the chance to advance their work within the supportive community of the school. Fellows are often graduates of the Center's Twelve-week and Nine-month courses, and visiting instructors frequently extend their time before or after their classes in order to participate in the program, as well. Fellows are integral to the vitality of the school, by helping maintain the facilities and volunteering at events, as well as contributing a dynamic creative energy. 

Chair Critique

Written by Michaela Stone on .

 Critiques are an essential aspect of the Nine-month Comprehensive curriculum. Students have the special opportunity to receive advice, opinions, compliments, and criticisms from the established furniture makers invited to participate. The Nine-month students have packed up their work and said their goodbyes, but before they left, they had one final critique for their chair projects. Chairs are exceptionally difficult objects to design and make. They require a deceptive amount of engineering to be structurally and ergonomically successful, and they invariably require bizarre angles and difficult joinery. However, they also provide a unique opportunity for a maker to express his or her individual voice, as evidenced by the range of styles presented in the critique, from a quiet dining chair with subtle details, to a modern twist on a throne. Visiting critics included David Upfill-Brown, Joe Tracy, and John McAlevey.

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