December 2015 Newsletter
  • Artisan Immersion: Design/Build Open Furniture Studio (4/11-5/6)
  • Call to Craft: An Open House Tradition Begins
  • Profiles in Woodworking: Ali Malone and Mike Grodem
  • 'Tis the Season: Consider Giving Back
  • Woodworking Inspiration
Artisan Immersion: Design/Build Open Furniture Studio (4/11-5/6)

  "People are the least creative when fighting the clock... Time pressure stifles creativity because people can't deeply engage with the problem."  - Teresa Amabile

There is a place where luxury and simplicity intersect...where the only thing that matters is art. 

Our objective in designing this class was to provide the space, tools and expert coaching/instruction for hand tool woodworkers to design and build a piece of artisan furniture. Give yourself or a loved one the gift of artistic immersion: Design/Build Studio.
Call to Craft: An Open House Tradition Begins

For some, woodworking is a calling; for some, it's a means to an end. And some - perhaps you? - are simply waiting for the call. Whether you are an active woodworker or one of those waiting for a call, there is a place for you at PTSW.

Last week, we hosted an Open House in our new workshop space, a celebration of our porch furniture project, Foundation students' work and the partnerships that make it all possible. 

Starting in 2016, we will be hosting quarterly open houses, including demonstrations and exhibits of students' and instructors' art. 

If you're an alumni interested in volunteering to help or exhibiting your work at an Open House, send us an email at

Ali Malone at work in the Foundations of Woodworking course
Profiles in Woodworking: Ali Malone & Mike Grodem

There's one word that captures both of our Foundations of Woodworking scholarship students: passion.

Ali's passion is for woodcraft and serving the community. Her woodworking experience includes a  
woman's carpentry job training program, an apprenticeship at Madera furniture and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. 

Mike comes to the school with a broad art background, studying fine art, photography, woodworking, natural building and working as a glass-blower. 

To see their work and hear more about these aspiring woodworkers, check out their blog posts here and here.
Lydia Vadopalas 
'Tis the Season: Consider Giving Back
At PTSW, we're committed to passing on the tradition of woodworking, transferring not only the skills and values of fine craftsmanship but delivering transformative experiences. As one alumni put it: "Leave the cell phone and internet at home - immerse yourself in this world and you will be changed."

If you believe in the power of woodcraft, we invite you to support the school with a tax deductible donation.

For questions on giving, endowments or ways to become involved, please contact our Development Director Sarah Zablocki-Axling.

As it is the season for giving, it is also the season for giving thanks. It is with great appreciation that we recognize all of our donors and supporters!  A special thank you goes out to:
  • First Federal Community Foundation for $30,000 for capital improvements, new equipment and vocation program development.
  • Jefferson County Community Foundation for $2,500 for staff professional development.
Woodworking Inspiration

Based on recent survey responses, alumni find their inspiration everywhere: nature, the wood itself, woodworking  publications, websites, blogs and social sharing sites, galleries, guilds, instructors and fellow woodworkers. 
This response to the source of inspiration question struck us as creatively provocative: "Mis-seen objects and happenstance." 
To quote Henry David Thoreau: "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." 
Share your woodwork and the images that inspire it with us on Instagram (@ptwoodschool) or by using the #PTSW hashtag.
Photo by Mike Grodem