Wood Workshops at Penland



We have eliminated the early-registration lottery. We will begin accepting registration for 2018 summer workshops at 9:00 AM EST on Monday, January 8. Registration for full-pay students will be on a first-come, first-served basis and will continue until workshops are filled. Spaces are reserved in each workshop for scholarship students. Scholarship applications are due by February 17.

Penland offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week classes taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Classes in our woodshop include topics such as furniture design and construction, wood sculpture, joinery, boat building, wooden instruments, wood carving, and more. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

Wood Spring Concentration
March 11-May 4
Tom Shields

This workshop will explore standard historic woodworking techniques and then push them into new territories. We’ll rethink structure and design through hybrid works that combine existing (found) furniture and newly fabricated parts. We’ll focus on building furniture and sculpture with minimal tooling. We’ll cover traditional joinery, milling, hand cutting, and the use of power tools. Students will learn the tricks needed to build not-so-traditional furniture without spending thousands of dollars on equipment. All levels. Studio fee: $155. Code S00W

Studio artist; teaching: University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Penland; residencies: Kohler Arts/Industry (WI), Century Furniture (NC), San Diego State University, former Penland resident artist; collections: Gregg Museum of Art and Design (NC), D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts (MA), University of Arkansas, Cameron Art Museum (NC), Wingate University (NC), North Carolina Museum of Art; representation: Blue Spiral (NC).


Tom Shields, "Held Up," found furniture, ebonized oak, 43 x 72 x 22 inches
Wood Summer Session One
May 27-June 8
Jason Schneider
Table Talk

A table is a piece of furniture with a flat top and one or more legs, providing a level surface on which objects may be placed. In this workshop we’ll explore a variety of solid wood table designs. We’ll engage in the design process through model making and presentations on influential table designs. Once you narrow down a design, you’ll learn the best techniques and use the most appropriate materials to construct and finish your table. We’ll cover basic joinery and the safe use of hand and machine tools. All levels. Code 01W

Studio artist; teaching: Anderson Ranch (CO), SUNY Purchase College (NY); Windgate ITE Fellow at Center for Art in Wood (Philadelphia); exhibitions: San Diego State University, SOFA Chicago, Museum of Craft and Design (San Francisco), International Contemporary Furniture Fair (NYC).


Jason Schneider, "120º," corrugated cardboard, glass, 15 x 30 inches
Wood Summer Session Two
June 10-22
Kimberly Winkle
Decked Out Furniture: Color, Mark & Form

Using conventional furniture-making techniques, students will build boxes and tables that will be enrobed with paint, marks, and texture to imbue them with personality and charm. We’ll start with quick and fun ways of building and shaping boxes as we learn the safe and proper use of equipment and machinery. Then we’ll design and build small tables using traditional joinery. Along the way we’ll cover a plethora of surface design treatments for wood, which students will use to bring life and attitude to their box and table. All levels. Code 02W

Associate professor at Tennessee Technological University; teaching: Haystack (ME), Anderson Ranch (CO), Arrowmont (TN), Center for Furniture Craftsmanship (ME); John D. Mineck fellowship, State of Tennessee artist fellowship; residencies: Purchase College (NY), Center for Art in Wood (Philadelphia), Vermont Studio Center, Haystack Open Studio Residency (ME).


Kimberly Winkle, "Odd Man Out Table," polychrome poplar and mahogany, 22 x 58 x 24 inches
Wood Summer Session Three
June 24-July 6
Matthew Hebert
Plywood on Parade

Ever wish you were a woodworker, an engineer, or a maybe a CNC router operator? In this workshop, you can work on becoming all three. In a whirlwind introduction to digital fabrication, each student will design and create a push-powered, kinetic sculpture from plywood, including mechanical elements designed in the computer and machined on the CNC router. Together we’ll aim for the Most Spastic award in the Penland 4th of July parade! We’ll cover 2d drafting with Rhino software, programming and operating the CNC router, and the use of hand power tools (routers, drills, jigsaws, etc.). All levels. Code 03W

Associate professor at San Diego State University; other teaching: University of Wisconsin-Madison, California Institute of the Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; exhibitions: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum of Craft and Folk Art (San Francisco), Core 77 (NYC).


Matthew Hebert, "Drawing Horses," bamboo plywood, 36 x 48 x 14 inches
Wood Summer Session Four
July 8-20
Christine Lee

This fast-paced workshop will expand idea generation and creative exploration by removing the barriers of myopic thinking and perfectionism paralysis. Students will work with various themes and methodologies while learning to capture their thought processes and transfer them into the making of objects. We’ll start with one-day projects using a variety of materials, simple cold connections, and basic casting methods to encourage working intuitively, responsively, and quickly during the design process. We’ll then apply these ideas to the construction of sculptural and/or functional prototypes. Technical demonstrations will be on an “as needed” basis. All levels; most relevant for students with an ongoing studio practice in any medium. Code 04W

Assistant professor at Arizona State University; residencies: Recology (San Francisco), Djerassi (CA), Anderson Ranch (CO); exhibitions: Museum of Craft and Design (San Francisco), Museum of Arts and Design (NYC).


Christine Lee, "Adaptive Stacking Order" (detail), wood, paint
Wood Summer Session Five
July 22-August 7
Gerald Weckesser
Skin-on-Frame Canoe Building

Using basic woodworking techniques, each student will build their own one-person canoe. Borrowing from diverse watercraft traditions such as Aleut ikyak or baidarkas, Inuit qujaq, and British Isle coracles and currachs, this workshop will focus on the skin-on-frame methods of boat building. The class will use a mix of modern materials and age-old traditions to build beautiful, durable, and lightweight boats. Time permitting, we’ll also build double-bladed paddles and water-test our crafts. All levels. Code 05W (Note: this workshop will have a $500 materials fee.)

Studio artist, Honors Fellow and faculty at East Carolina University (NC); exhibitions: Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston); publications: San Diego Home and Garden, I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now (published by Boris Bally).


Gerald Weckesser, "Canoe," Atlantic white cedar, sapele, dacron, 30 inches x 12 feet
Wood Summer Session Six
August 12-24
Malcolm Cheyne
Take a Seat

Regardless of ability, all students in this workshop will leave with something beautiful to sit on—be it a stool, a Windsor bow, a rocking chair, or something whacky! We’ll consider notions of “sit,” posture, relaxed/attentive, and sculptural/practical. In the first week we’ll sketch, prototype, make cardboard models, learn sharpening methods and process techniques, and discuss material considerations. In the second week we’ll make and finish our final pieces. We’ll work with a somewhat limited palette of materials to create an aesthetic connection between all of our designs. All levels. Code 06W

Studio artist and professor at Duncan of Jordanstone College (Scotland) specializing in bespoke furniture and product design; work includes a chair designed specifically for a lecture by the Dalai Lama.

Malcolm Cheyne, "Sella," sycamore, felted wool, 4 feet wide
Wood Summer Session Seven
August 26-September 1
Jon Brooks
Convergence: Forest Meets Muse

Naturally formed wood presents us with an array of shapes and forms that, with proper selection and joinery, allow the maker fantastic creative possibilities. We’ll begin by looking at our relationship to the trees that surround us. Then students will create expressive functional and sculptural objects from naturally formed, low-impact harvested wood and milled lumber using traditional and inventive joinery techniques. We’ll cover tree identification, harvesting, appropriate tools, carving, and surface adornment. Students will be encouraged to explore playfully, thoughtfully, and creatively. All levels. Code 07W

Studio artist; teaching: University of Tasmania (Australia), Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), Haystack (ME), Anderson Ranch (CO), Penland; lifetime fellow and Living Treasure Award from New Hampshire Arts Council; collections: Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Renwick Gallery (DC), Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Jon Brooks, "Black Forest Chair," maple, beech, acrylic, varnish, lacquer, 33 x 42 x 30 inches