Penland Wood Program
The Penland wood program offers beginning to advanced workshops in traditional and contemporary woodworking. The studio provides space and specialty equipment for the exploration of concept and technique in wood. The scope of each workshop is determined by the instructor with input from our program director and support from our programming staff. Our versatile facility and high-caliber artist/educators allow us to provide relevant programming in topics from furniture design and construction to mixed media sculpture and everything in between. We strive for a balance of technical and aesthetic content and value all cultural and historical perspectives. We offer workshops that inspire and challenge students from curious beginners to accomplished professionals. Our programming is current in spirit and respectful of craft traditions.
The studio is very flexible, but particularly well equipped for furniture design and construction as well as a variety of sculptural building techniques. The range of workshops includes but is not limited to joinery, chair design and construction, small batch production, upholstery, carving, green woodworking, designing with cork, timber framing, instrument making, boat building, surface design and finishing, and tool making. Materials and techniques are combined in a myriad of ways, and instructors often ground technical exploration with conversations about historic and/or current context, design, or idea generation. Instructors include Wendy Maruyama, Tom Huang, Stoney Lamar, Michael Puryear, Sabiha Mujtaba, Wayne Henderson, Kimberley Winkle, Bill Thomas, Jennifer Anderson, Matt Hutton, Daniel Michalik, Christine Lee, Jason Schneider, Matthew Hebert, and Jack Mauch, among many others.
Our workshops take place in a well-equipped, well-maintained, and safe wood studio designed to accommodate diverse content and working styles. There are benches for each student, a machine room/milling room with dust collection, a wood storage area, a spray booth, and covered outdoor work and meeting spaces.
This list is designed to help students anticipate what tools and equipment will be available at Penland. Items on the list may change before your class. Instructors will determine which equipment is appropriate for your class. Some equipment may not be available in some classes.
The Penland wood studio contains equipment to suit a variety of woodworking needs.
5’x5’ CNC Shopbot router
3 – 10″ Sawstop table saws (with a variety of accessories and jigs)
24″ thickness sander
12″ portable planer
1 vertical/horizontal feed panel saw
4 band saws (24” (for re-sawing), 18”, 15”, and 10”)
2 miter saws
Radial arm saw
3 router tables
Horizontal slot mortiser
Hollow chisel mortiser
2 drill presses (18″ press and 30″ radial arm drill)
Oscillating spindle sander
Disc and horizontal belt sander
3′ x 6′ downdraft table
2 vacuum press systems
7 hp. air compressor
Various portable electric and pneumatic tools
Chisels and gouges
Hammers and mallets
A large variety of clamps
Files and rasps
Measuring and marking tools
Assorted steam-bending equipment
As is the case in any teaching shop, the condition of edged tools varies. Students are responsible for tuning and sharpening the tools they use and are welcome to bring any favorite hand tools to class.
Supplies and Materials
In addition to supplies specifically requested by an instructor for the class, the Penland wood studio generally stocks a variety of consumables such as adhesives and abrasives. A fee may be charged to classes to recover the costs of supplies used by students. We estimate this studio fee and inform students before arrival at Penland. Wood for student use is stocked by the school and sold to students individually. Payment for wood purchased from Penland will be made online at the end of the session. The cost of class materials is not included in tuition. Students are welcome to bring a personal supply of wood for the class, but the studio reserves the right to disallow its use in the case of moisture, dirt, or possible metal inclusions in the wood. Wood storage space inside the studio is not guaranteed. Penland provides basic personal safety gear (eye and ear protection) and it is also available for purchase at the Supply Store on campus. Your instructor may require other safety equipment depending on your class.
The school maintains a comprehensive hazardous waste program and asks that you limit the materials you bring to those classified as non-toxic. The material must be in its original packaging. An environmental fee will be assessed for classes generating hazardous waste. In order to limit hazardous waste generation in the studios, we cannot allow students to bring toxic materials outside of the class supply list into the studio.
Each student will have available to them a toolkit equipped with a set of basic woodworking hand tools. Toolkits include: a set of 5 chisels, mallet, hammer, 6″ combination square, 18″ rule, backsaw, rasp, tape measurer, countersinks, drill and driver bits, screwdriver, marking gauge, marking knife, bevel gauge, angle finder, card scraper, sanding block, block and smoothing planes, awl, scissors, and bench brush. Students are responsible for replacing or repairing lost or damaged tools at the discretion of the coordinator. Condition of the tools will be reported when the toolkit is checked out and when it is returned. Replacement values are listed with the kits.
There is no classroom at the wood studio. Class demonstrations and discussions are held in our spacious and happy bench room.
Penland wood classes generally have no more than eleven students. Each student will have a bench with 100 square feet of their own for the duration of the class. Lighting in the wood studio is fluorescent, augmented by daylight. Each bench includes an adjustable workbench lamp.
Each bench area has a locker. Locks are provided at no charge. Storage of students’ personal supplies will be limited in the studio to the area of the bench assigned to the student.
The Penland wood studio requires that no student use any machine or tool before they have been instructed in its proper use. We also use the buddy system: students may not use any machine while alone in the building.
The wood studio is equipped with a safety eyewash station, first aid kit, safety shower, hazardous spill kit, four fire extinguishers, and a fire blanket. Students should bring their own respiratory protection or plan to purchase it from the school Supply Store.
The coordinator will perform a safety tour and introduction to the studio. All students must be present for the shop introduction, and no one may begin using the studio before they have attended the safety tour.
Alcohol is not permitted in the studios. Working in the studios under the influence of alcohol is not permitted. The use of illegal drugs at Penland is prohibited.
Shared Studio Equipment
Shared air space/music: Each class should discuss the playing of music and reach a consensus on the time of day, the volume, and the type of music to be played. Tolerance and consideration are expected from everyone.
If you wish to use equipment in other studios during your session, you must work with the instructor and coordinator of that studio to request access. They will determine if the desired usage is compatible with their class activities and if you are able to work safely and independently with the equipment.
Each session starts with an all-school meeting Sunday evening at 5 pm followed by dinner in the Pines. Classes start Sunday at 8:30 pm. Studio clean-up and fee payment take place the day before your session ends. The last day of each session is reserved for farewells and an all-school exhibition of work created during your time at Penland.
Everyone must participate in studio clean-up; if you must leave early, please ask the studio assistant to assign you clean-up tasks you can accomplish before your departure.
If you have questions, contact:
Studio Coordinator: Kylie Little
E-mail Address: email@example.com