Seeing and understanding wood in a whole new way. Did you ever look at a piece of wood and wonder what wood it is? And why it looks the way it does? Were you ever confused about which wood it is: mahogany, walnut, cherry, or poplar? The questions may seem answerable when looking at a new piece of wood but how about when you are looking at an oxidized surface or a piece of furniture that is 200 years old with stain and varnish on it. This two-day hands-on workshop will answer all these questions and more. It is designed specifically for curators, collectors, antique dealers, appraisers, and woodworkers. The goal of this workshop is to become familiar with the physical properties of wood and recognize species specific cell structures with a 10x loupe. On Saturday, basic wood anatomy will be introduced, including grain, figure, fundamental differences between softwoods and hardwoods, and more. The student will learn to identify common hardwoods used in 18th and 19th century furniture. On Sunday, the class will be held at the Webb, Deane, Stevens House in Wethersfield (10 minutes from the school). We will get a rare opportunity not only to see one of the finest collections of New England furniture, but also to identify woods used in a selection of great objects in a one-day intensive and hands-on inspection. No experience is necessary. Tuition $275, plus materials which includes a hardwood sample kit, 10x loupe, The “Wood ID Bible”- Identifying Wood by Bruce Hoadley and admission to WDS. Class size is limited to 15 students. This class will fill quickly, so sign up soon.
This class will be re-scheduled for January 2017
Join nationally known carver & joiner, Peter Follansbee, for this unique opportunity to be a part of Connecticut history as we continue our study of 17th and 18th century furniture of the Connecticut River Valley.
This class will focus on the techniques used in the 17th century to make a joined chest entirely with hand tools. These carved chests were made by joiners, using oak riven, or split, from a log. Frame and panel construction and mortise and tenon joinery are the hallmarks of this work. The project is based on a Connecticut River Valley example at the Connecticut Historical Society which Peter is recreating for the Strong/Howard house project.
We will begin with oak we’ve split from a large-diameter oak log, then hew and plane the stock to size. Layout, carving, joinery and drawboring assembly will be focal points of this exciting class. The beveled panels will fit in grooves plowed with a plow plane - a traditional joiners’ approach. Be prepared to work, there will not be any machines in this class!
The secondary wood will be sawn pine which will become the chest’s bottom boards and lid, drawer bottoms and some of the parts for the small lidded till included inside the chest.
This class will meet one weekend per month for 5 months. Class time will consist of numerous demos, learning and practicing the carving and joinery on practice pieces before diving into the actual pieces, exploring the historical aspects of 17th century joinery and furniture making. It is expected that a large part of the actual carving and joinery will be completed in your own shops at your own pace. Please don’t expect that you will be able to build the whole chest during class time only.
This format works well as you get the chance to practice the techniques and get Peter’s feedback in class before you begin on the actual parts that will become part of the finished chest.
This is a hand-tool class; planes, chisels, saws - a simple tool kit is all that is required. The list will be on the website www.schoolofwoodworking.com by the end of the year.
As an added bonus, we will begin the class on Friday, September 30, with a trip to the Yale Furniture Study in New Haven in order to study the numerous examples of carved chests in their collection. Be prepared to learn some great skills, build a great reproduction of a 17th century Connecticut chest and have a great time doing it! Sign up today!
Tuition: $1295.00 plus materials
Section 093016A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, September 30, October 1 & 2, Saturday & Sunday, November 5 & 6, December 3 & 4 (2016), January 7 & 8, February 4 & 5 (2017), 9:30am – 5:00pm