Field Trip: Vermont Woodworking School

Did you know that a couple of our Guild members also teach at Vermont Woodworking School in Cambridge? Or that VWS is a supporting member of our Guild? It’s a collaborative relationship that’s blossomed over the last couple of years, thanks to an ever-curious student body, a passionate faculty and staff, and the generous, interested attitude of many of our makers.

Most recently, Guild members Tim Clark and Dave Boynton got together with colleagues (and VWS faculty members) David Hurwitz and Mario Messina to host a lunchtime panel discussion. The four shared their stories… how they came to furniture making, how they approached training and education, and how they developed their particular studio furniture business. The guys also introduced our new Journeyman’s membership, an excellent opportunity for student woodworkers who see themselves on the path toward master level craft.

After presentations, discussion and Q&A came the really fun part; a chance to tour the students’ work spaces and check out current projects. From Tim Clark… “Each space was full of work being created. It seemed that many of VWS’ current 35 or so full time students were there, with a new creation around every corner.”  

Group Discussion with Vermont Furniture Makers

Checking out Mario Messina's New Project

Tim and Mario check out Student Work

Vermont Woodworking School Students Love Their Work

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 Vermont Woodworking School, 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. We look forward to more opportunities to collaborate — and celebrate — in the coming season.

Photos Courtesy Amanda Lass, VWS


7 thoughts on “Field Trip: Vermont Woodworking School

  1. Joe Barry

    So how about opening the membership to non-professional woodworkers??? I no longer make a living at it but, I’d like to not have to cross the river to go to the Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers

    1. Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers

      Joe, we’ve discussed the idea of non-professional members a few times over the years but have never been really clear on what we would be able to offer to this category of membership. What would you find useful and/or interesting about joining the Guild as a non-professional?

  2. Linda Reynolds

    I need feedback for an idea I have. An old detached two car garage is on my property in Monkton that isn’t being used. It used to be a shop 40 yrs ago. I’d like to see a wood worker working there and would rent it for cheap for the sake of the smell of sawdust and the chance to see things evolving from wood. I also have lots of standing cherry, walnut and locust on the property. It is a good location, the bay openings face due south so could have clear doors put on to get great light. It would need insulation and work, a new metal room was put on about 10 yrs ago, no more $ to put into it but have the building, land, and goodwill. I also have an empty studio wing off the kitchen that needs a tenant right now so if there’s a woodworker ready to go out on his/her own…it might be an opportunity to get something started along with a place to live while doing it. The rental rooms are off the kitchen with good light and a loft, privacy, separate heat, fridge, DSL and WiFi, 18 miles each from Burl. and Middlebury. Share kitchen and baths with me and the dogs. Craisgslist ad titled: Studio w/Loft in Great Old Farmhouse, $600. per mo. Call 802-989-3234 Thanks! Linda I have great love and respect for turned, bent, sculpted, joined, practical and impractical wooden objects.

    1. Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers

      It sounds like this could be a wonderful opportunity for the right person. We’ll make sure this info is spread around the Vermont woodworking community.

  3. Doug harrell

    Commenting on Joe Barry’s comment , posted 4/26, in reply to the guild response and in agreement with joe. I am not new to woodworking but i am new to the persuit of building fine furniture, pretty much self tough and currently enrolled in the school of hard knocks, due to lack of resource and lack of mentorship. I have built alot of projects ranging from window jamb extentions to a custom corner pantry with pocket doors. My favorite TV shows growing up in the late 80s and early 90s were the olé Yankee workshop,this old house, no time for cartoons at 11 yrs old.
    I have applied for jobs in the furniture building Industy and have never been given a chance to show what I’m made of, I have a deep seeded passion for mastering fine furniture creation but I have no outlet and no means of learning, other than books, internet, trial and error. I realize that the guild is for serious participants but why can I not be taken seriously simply because I was not one of a chosen few to be given a shot at furniture building career?! There is nothing I wouldn’t do to have that opportunity.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m no woodworking superstar, but I am well above the average for someone with my experience. As you know, to be successful in woodworking as a professional or as a hobbyist the required knowledge is extensive and neverending. What better a place to learn and share than under the eyes of master woodworkers willing to pass down their methodology, processes, and tips/secrets to a student who shares the love of the craft.

    1. Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers

      Thanks for bringing this up again Doug. It seems like it may be time for us to revisit the idea of adding a non-professional membership category.


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