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.
The Woodschool Blog
One glance over Emily Deutchman’s bench area and it becomes clear: this is a space inhabited by a remarkably creative person. Her small corner in the Nine-month building bristles with aesthetic delights from the bursts of color painted on a row of mason jars to a well-curated bulletin board composed of sketches, inspiring photos, and geometric wooden jewelry. As an emerging furniture maker, Emily isn’t just about style and creativity, she also values exceptional craftsmanship. As a result, her work combines timeless heirloom quality with her unique voice as a designer.
Each year, as the Nine-month Comprehensive starts to wrap-up, the Current Student Work show in the Messler Gallery always astounds and inspires. The level of skill and creativity that the students achieve is simply overwhelming. As you can see, this year is no exception:
Walking through the Nine-month classroom I am reminded that there are many different ways to approach a design brief. In the last 5 weeks each student designed and built a furniture piece with curved elements. Collectively they have created a fine body of work which includes a lawyer’s standing desk, coffee and side tables, hall and sofa tables, a wall cabinet, and a gentleman’s valet. In addition to steam and laminate bending, students explored other curve-forming techniques like coopering and kerf cutting. I’m sure there is a mix of relief, satisfaction, and accomplishment when the wood bends without breaking, when the vacuum press closes before the glue sets, or when there is minimal spring back when the clamps come off the form.
The last four weeks of the Twelve-week Intensive are dedicated to curvature. With freedom from the confines of the straight line, students' design vocabulary become practically unlimited. However, with the gift of openness comes the dilemma of choice. Consequently, this final project requires a great deal of experimentation and editing. Curves add both conceptual and aesthetic complexity, and as such, students learn to be both proactive and reactive in their process.
With solid wood design and construction under their belts, the Nine-month Comprehensive students are now being introduced to a whole new world of design opportunity. Veneer allows us to create work which doesn't require accommodation for wood movement. The ability to work with veneer can expand a furniture maker's aesthetic vocabulary exponentially; however, like learning a new medium, such expansion requires an entirely new set of skills.
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