Makers Retreat at Vermont Woodworking School

Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers members Mario Messina and David Hurwitz are known for their original, out-of-the-box designs but also for the contributions they make to Vermont’s craft community. Both are faculty members at Vermont Woodworking School in Cambridge. They join a group of master craftsmen and women teaching extensive furniture-making techniques and offering students and residents exposure to the variety of paths in the woodworking industry.

In part, our mission at the Guild is to increase public awareness and appreciation of the tradition of fine furniture making. We’re grateful for the partnership with the VWS, and inspired by the talent and enthusiasm of their students. This is important work. Important for the continuity of Craft tradition and for the continued growth of Vermont’s working landscape. Last spring, the school hosted our first annual Guild retreat.

Photo Credit: Vermont Woodworking School, Cambridge VT

Retreat goers included Guild members, VWS residents and faculty. The first day was spent in design discussions and critiques of finished pieces, punctuated by good food, drink, and camaraderie.

critiquing David Boyton's console

critiquing rob palmer's dressing table

discussing mario's glass and wood coffee table

critiquing mario's handcrafted lamp

composite work by guild of vermont furniture makers member mario messina

Day two was marked by “business life” discussions; delivery stories, interesting clients, scheduling, etc. Presentations focused on concept drawings and fabrication techniques, and included a visit to Mario’s studio.

david hurwitz discusses the design process

woodworking inspiration

gathering of craftsman at vermont woodworking school

In the evening, Dave told us they tested out a wood-fired cob oven Mario built with one of his classes, and a family-style pizza supper followed; “all the fixin’s and fresh veggies people brought from their gardens.”

wood fired pizza oven

eating local, making friends

homemade pizza, summertime, vermont. perfection!

A great experience was had by all, and we’re looking forward to 2015. Thanks to Dave and Mario, Amanda and Carina. And to Chris, Dave and Tim for sending along the photos so that we could share them with you.

Did you know that VWS is a designated State Craft Center, too? And in a beautiful location; fans and friends can visit the gallery on site. Fro more information:

To learn more about the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers:




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