Summer Classes and Midwinter Show at College of the Redwoods

You'll learn to design a chair!Once the regular school year is complete in May, College of the Redwoods, here in Fort Bragg, California, continues into the summer with several excellent short courses on a variety of woodworking specialties. Tools and Techniques and Plane Making have been popular courses for many summers now but this summer’s offerings include some very special offerings. The greater Fort Bragg area includes whitewater vistas, deserted beaches, redwood forests, fishing, golf, shopping, a great aquatic/rec center, even a steam train — plenty of fun for the whole family while you’re off honing your woodworking expertise. From the college website:

We are welcoming the return of Yeung Chan and Kevin Drake and presenting our annual class in furniture making fundamentals.

Our first class in parquetry will be presented by Heather Trosdahl, who in her two years here proved able to combine a sense of adventure while keeping in touch with tradition.

Jim Krenov often said he was too much of a coward to build a chair, a common sentiment. Adding to her responsibilites as program director, Laura Mays will be providing guidance in chair creation, joining the summer crew for the first time.

Tool and Jig Making
with Yeung Chan, May 20–24, $525

Introduction to Parquetry
with Heather Trosdahl, June 3–7, $550

Design a Chair
with Laura Mays, June 10–14, $555

Making and Using a Western Saw
with Kevin Drake, June 17–21, $555

Tools and Techniques
with Jim Budlong, July 8–26, $1165

Plane Making
with Jim Budlong, July 8–12, $480

with Jim Budlong, July 15–26, $725

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General Summer Class information

And, be sure to check out the Midwinter Furniture Exhibition Friday, the first of February (a First Friday in Fort Bragg — monthly ritual when the local galleries and shops stay open late for evening shopping, strolling and schmoozing). This annual show is always a first-rate treat showing some of the finest woodworking ever. And the reception is a great party with current and former students and many friends of the program and woodworking enthusiasts in general. I’ll be at my post behind the bar, doing my best to keep everyone… schmoozable. Don’t miss it!

Time to Fish or… Get Woodworking!

This is going to be FUN!

Get Woodworking Week, February 3 – 9,  is just about here, which means it’s time for all you curb-standers, pot-sitters, bait-cutters, bench-warmers, fence-sitters and undecided-voters to… that’s right… Get Woodworking!

2013 is the second year that – and we plan to continue this into infinity and beyond – the coolest woodworking bloggers devote the first week of February encouraging folks to take up woodworking, get back to woodworking, or to finish that woodworking project lingering alone, an unmet promise, in the woodshop, garage, storeroom, barn, corner, shelf – as in just do it!GetWWLogo2013.

We know that there are plenty of potential wood dogs out there, lapsed wood dogs, and wood dogs yearning to be free, wood dogs who just need a boost, an urging if you will, to take that satisfying and rewarding plunge – even if that means getting only a toe in for the moment.

Tom’s Workbench’s Tom Iovino, a great and generous wood dog, has more on his blog including some relevant links to resources for entry-level woodworkers, newbies, neophytes, greenhorns, beginners — wood dogs, one and all.

So do a friend, buddy, chum, pal a favor and encourage (cajole, urge, push) him or her to give a simple project a try. Help them out as much as needed and channel your enthusiasm into them and their project.

If it’s tools they need, HOCK TOOLS offers kits to make Krenov-style planes, both large and small, a shoulder plane and a spokeshave. We also have The Perfect Edge, my most excellent book on sharpening, in hardback and paperback, that may help the beginner get over that hurdle (after all, sharpening is a basic woodworking skill.)

Any HOCK TOOLS kit ordered in February from the website with the comment Get Woodworking Week Rocks! in the comments box gets a 10% discount, including the Krenov-style wooden handplane, the shoulder plane, spokeshave, and small wooden block plane kits. But it’s gotta say Get Woodworking Week Rocks!

Woodworking is more fun when you have someone to share the experience with. Your friend needs a new coffee table and the birds need new houses. So Get Woodworking!

A Book Review from Jeff Peachey

Book binder and conservator Jeff Peachey wrote a very thoughtful post about craft and meaning under the guise of a review of this book: The Lost Carving by David Esterly. I was unaware of this book but having read Jeff’s review I’m going to buy a copy from my local bookstore. Jeff puts it well: Making things—and the escape from the everyday consciousness that craft provides— is a universal human activity, possibly bordering on a need. I agree with that. And I wish to better understand that need. I can’t wait to receive my copy!

Thanks, Jeff.

PS: Once upon a time Linda and I owned the bookstore in our small town. That experience made it clear that that online bookseller, you know the one named for a river teeming with piranha, is very bad for small, local business. If you value your local businesses, please shop them first. For a list of your local bookstores check out Indiebound.