Wood Studio

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 traditional or contemporary furniture design and construction and a variety of building techniques for sculpture. The range of workshops includes but is not limited to joinery, chair design and construction, small batch production, upholstery, carving, green woodworking, working with reclaimed wood, 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 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.

Machine Room

18” x 24″ CNC Shopbot router
3 – 10″ table saws, two of which are Sawstops, with a variety of accessories, tools, and jigs
12″ jointer
8″ jointer
24″ thickness sander
22″ planer
12″ portable planer
1 vertical/horizontal feed panel saw
24″ band saw for re-sawing
18″ band saw for pattern work
15” bandsaw for general use
1 Scroll Saw
3 lathes with tool rests and face plates
2 router tables
Horizontal slot mortiser
2 drill presses in the shop: 18″ press and a 30″ radial arm drill
Oscillating spindle sander
Pneumatic drum sander
Disc and horizontal belt sander
3′ x 6′ downdraft sanding table
2 vacuum press systems for veneering and laminations Steambending Equipment
7 hp. air compressor
2 Festool Domino Joiners
1 Festool Track Saw
Various portable power tools

Hand Tools

Hand planes
Chisels and gouges
A large variety of clamps

Files and rasps

Measuring and marking tools

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 classes.

Our facility is equipped with a large spray booth for both solvent- and water-based finishes.

Supplies and Materials

In addition to supplies specifically requested by an instructor for the class, the Penland wood studio generally stocks a variety of finishing supplies and glues. A fee may be charged to classes to recover the costs of supplies used by the class as a group. 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 by the board. Payment for wood purchased from Penland will be made at the end of the session at the school store. Checks, cash and Mastercard/Visa are accepted. 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 using some machines in the case of dirt or possible metal inclusions in the wood. Students are expected to bring their own personal safety gear or plan to purchase it locally after arriving at Penland. You will need at least to have safety glasses and ear protection. 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 bench chisels, mallet and hammer, 6″ square, 18″ rule, backsaw, rasp, tape measure, countersinks, drill and driver bits, screwdriver, marking gauge, marking knife, carving knife, bevel gauge, card scraper, sanding block, and black and smoothing planes. 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.

Student Workspace

Penland wood classes generally have no more than eleven students. Each student will have a bench with 100 square feet of his or her own for the duration of the class. Lighting in the wood studio is fluorescent, augmented by daylight. Students may wish to bring a supplemental work light.


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.

Safety Information

The Penland wood studio requires for student safety that no student use any machine tool (stationary power tool) before he or she has been instructed in its proper use. We also use the buddy system: students may not use any machine tool while alone in the building.

The wood studio is equipped with a safety eyewash station with a sink for washing and with a first aid kit that is regularly restocked. Students should bring their own safety glasses, respiratory protection, and gloves or plan to purchase them from the school 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 he or she has attended a safety tour of the shop.

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, studio assistant, or 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.

Session Schedule

Each session starts with an all-school meeting Sunday evening at 5pm followed by dinner in the Pines. Classes start Sunday at 8:30pm. Classes end and studio clean-up takes 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
Studio: 828-765-2013
E-mail Address: wood@penland.org