Friday, April 17, 2015

Added Classes and Fresh Materials!!

 I am sensitive the fact that acquiring high quality green wood is one of the earliest and most daunting hurdles in getting started in green wood chairmaking. I cover many ways to work around this in my book, but there really is no substitute for the experience of working the stuff green. So I'm happy to say that I'm working with my friend, former student and chairmaker Dan Monsees to offer green splits of white oak and hard maple turning blanks for sale. I have absolutely no financial stake in this, I am just working with Dan to make sure that he gets the best material that I would want to work with and from there, I know he can offer it to you. You can see his offerings here. I hope you'll check it out.

Big Dan cheesing it up with his chair in my NY shop
The classes that I'm teaching in South Carolina, Washington and Ohio are filled up, so I decided to add a 6 student summer class in Boston at The North Bennet Street School. I like the 6 student format, it's plenty to create a great class dynamic but few enough that me and my assistant can give all the personal attention needed. It starts Monday August 17th and runs through Saturday. For information and registration details you can contact the school or click through their website. We will be building the Balloon back featured in my book and for those who prefer it, we can make a Fan Back instead. I'm very excited to have the book as a companion to teaching, I think it will add a lot to the class and certainly make it easier to build more chairs afterward.

It's been great getting feedback from folks reading "Chairmaker's Notebook". After some mailing glitches that kept me waiting to see the final print copy (it was torture watching others announce that they'd seen it!), I finally got my hands on it and am very happy with the results. Once again, thanks to Chris, John, Linda, Megan and all the folks behind the scenes who helped make one man's mania into an actual book!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Eagle has Landed

OK, maybe a bit of overkill, but I am proud to say that the final print edition of "Chairmaker's Notebook" is shipping to all the folks who pre ordered and who are currently placing orders. You can order it from
I've been spending time getting ready for my trip around the country. I will be in South Carolina teaching at Caleb James' shop and then on to Iowa for Handworks and then to University of the Rio Grande in Ohio to teach a class to a Sapfm chapter. There are a couple of spots that have opened in the class in Ohio that are available if you are interested. You can contact me and I'll forward your email to Eric Matson who will give you the lowdown.

I have managed to sneak away for a proper vacation, which was a welcome and needed break. I was in Costa Rica with my lovely companion Stephanie Hubbard. Here we are in La Amistad International Park. It's the largest protected area in Central America.
We hiked three hours up this riverbed to get to a waterfall and saw a deadly bushmaster snake, bullet ants and poisonous spiders the size of your face. A great time to be sure.

Here is a quick plug for the lodge we stayed at. It's called Selva Bananito and is off the grid and nestled in the rainforest. The owner was very generous with us and is obsessive about keeping his land as habitat for all the pumas, jaguars and other large cats and wildlife that roam around. Knowing that our vacation dollars were going to help made a beautiful place all the better.