Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mike Wenzloff is Teaching in June


I just got off the phone with Mike Wenzloff - he's in good spirits, much improved health and he's within a week of getting his backlog under control! Mike confirmed that he'll be teaching at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking on June 11-12, 2011.


Mike is one of the best saw makers in the country. In Mike's Build a Handsaw course you get to customize one of Mike's amazing saws (you get to choose what type and the type of wood for the handle) to fit your hand. Plus you get a master class in sharpening, metallurgy and the history of saw making. Jim Tolpin will be around to join in the discussions of saws and sawing.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Sneak Peek into Jim Tolpin's New Book

To my great surprise Google Books has a pretty extensive preview of Jim's new book - "The New Traditional Woodworker" (see further below in this post).

If you are quick off the mark and can get over to the Port Townsend School of Woodworking tomorrow (Sat 16th April). Between 10-4pm we are holding an Open House with book signing by Jim. We'll have about 60 copies available and will take orders for more. The book is not available through Amazon or in the stores yet!

There are many other events and demos taking place at the School. Hope you can join us.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Carving a Nuu Chah Nulth Style Mask - Steve Brown

Steve Brown & Makah tyle Mask
Nuu Chah Nulth is a relatively new name for a group of First People's tribes who lived along the west coast of Vancouver Island and on the very North West of the Olympic Peninsula - the Makah. This grouping was formerly known as Nootkan - which name Steve believes is based on a misunderstanding by Captain James Cook.

Steve worked with the Makah People on the excavation at the buried village at Lake Ozette and the recreation of traditional canoes. In the picture above he is holding a picture of a Makah mask for which he carved a replica. The replica continues to be used in ceremonies while the original is carefully preserved.

This weekend Steve is teaching a class in mask carving at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking. Many of the students are using adzes and bent knives they made in Steve's tool making class in March 2011.





Studio Visit: Tim Celeski - High End Outdoor Furniture

Tim Celeski's Small Outdoor Bench (this is a class project)

Tim Celeski generously opened up his studio as part of the Foundation Class's Bainbridge Island Studio Tour. Tim's shop, as is his work, is planned in incredible detail. Workflow and airflow were major factors in the layout of the shop. You'll see major extractor fans in the sanding area - that sawdust is headed for the great outside! Tim's inspiration comes from Greene and Greene - square plugs and other subtle details.

Tim selected, and has done an incredible job of filling, the niche of high end outdoor furniture. Furniture that is amazingly comfortable, functional and exists happily out of doors from Seattle to Southernmost California. See Tim's work on his website.

Tim's other passion is workbenches - he has run the WorkBenchDesign.net for many years. Read, enjoy, drool. We're still working on getting him to teach a workbench building class at the School. 2012?

Studio Visit: Cecil Ross, Bainbridge Island

Cecil Ross
Two things struck me as execeptional about our visit to Cecil's shop during the Foundation Class's tour to woodworkers on Bainbridge Island in March 2011. First: Cecil's work, that he builds in a small (two car garage) shop, is completely variable in scale from something you can hold in one hand to a 70' long conference table! Second: his work is driven by the wood - the character, patterns and shape of a piece of wood determine what the piece will be. Cecil will live with a piece of wood until it finally reveals what it has to become.

Cecil hails from South Africa and spent many years working as a boat builder in California and Port Townsend before scaling to making beautiful wood sculpture and furniture. I strongly encourage to visit his website or his shop and gallery.

Studio Visit: David Kotz - Coyote Woodshop

David's Bandsaw Mill
Next in our sequence of studio tour for the 2011 Woodworking Foundation Course students was another look at the process of getting boards from a tree with David Kotz at the Coyote Woodshop on Bainbridge Island.

David's love of the wood and his devotion to making sure that the trees he collects are recovered from his community. The more I see of his collection of wood the more I appreciate his commitment - there are some elm boards to die for in his showroom.

Studio Visit: Robert Spangler

Robert Spangler

As part of the Woodworking Foundation course we've been visiting local(ish) furniture makers. Bob and Birgit Spangler were incredibly welcoming to us. Bob's work and his shop were both inspirational.

Bob's shop is on the south of Bainbridge Island - one of the most spacious and comfortable I've seen.

The slide show will give you a sense of Bob's work - check it out in more detail at his website or at the NW Fine Woodworking gallery in Pioneer Square, Seattle.

Making Adzes and Bent Knives with Steve Brown

Adze-actly which one did you mean?

Steve Brown returned to the Port Townsend School of Woodworking to teach his tool making class. This was a full class of enthusiasts! Our thanks to Greg Blomberg of Kestrel Tools for sharing an announcement of the class with his mailing list.

Steve's teaching is inspirational and fun. There was instant community in the shop and a constant hum of enthusiasm.


Foundation Course - March Images


Neo waits for his dust mask before going into the machine room

March is the third month of the Twelve Week Woodworking Foundation Class at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking. We bought in furniture makers and craftsmen from the community to share their experience with the students. Seth Rolland, Dan Packard and Tom Dolese (all are already on the School's Faculty) provoked and challenged as usual!