2017 Guild School

June 10–16, 2017     Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, Maine

36 Hour Classes



INSTRUCTOR: Kari Bloom, Fellow
COURSE: Working with Wood Veneer
PROJECT: Camel Back Wood Steamer Trunk

Called “packers” during 1840–1920, steamer trunks were used in the heyday of travel on steamships and rail. While both flat and domed topped trunks were made, the domed tops were usually for those who had a higher social standing as they were harder to stack in stowage and therefore kept with the traveler in their private cabin.

Students will start with a bare camel back “form.” They will cut and steam beautiful wood veneer to follow the curve of the domed top and cover the bottom portion of the form. Then they will apply a finish to the wood. Leather straps, wood slats and attractive hardware will add final detail to the outside. The instructor’s favorite pin-setter (included in the material fee) will be used to set the nails (and there are a lot).

For the inside, students will assemble the pull-out trays and tiny compartments to set into the trays. Some parts will be pre-cut. Students will use wood and Taskboard for this process. True to the era, several papers will be provided to cover the compartments and the inside of the trunk. A variety of art simulating lithographs, such as women and children that were popular with the Victorians, will also be provided. Students can also bring their favorite papers. Tiny magnets will be hidden in the lids to close them securely.

The finished trunk will be a lovely item that students will be proud of, perfect for a Victorian setting!

TIME: 36 hours. While completion is unlikely, students will have all the instructions and materials to finish the project on their own.

POWER TOOLS: None

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

MATERIALS FEE: $80 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Jamie Carrington, Fellow
COURSE: Polymer Clay
PROJECT: Sculpting Character Figures

This class welcomes absolute beginners or experienced figure-makers wanting to re-tune their skills with a failsafe way of sculpting the human head and figure. Students will use Premo polymer clay and will learn how to mix it to get the correct shade for miniature characters.

Students will build a clay layer to a baked skull, using a provided mold. Additionally, students will create and bake the perfect eyeball. They will form well-balanced features using a set of proportion tools specially made for this purpose.

Students are encouraged to discover the face most suitable to the character they are after. Once the face and neck are baked, students will learn the instructor’s painting technique to discover the result. Students will move on to learn alternative ways to make the hands, never as hard as people imagine. Next they will make the bodies and feet.

Students will then assemble the figure and complete it either as a poseable or posed figure.

Since this class is about the new sculpting technique, costuming is left to the students. For those thinking they’d like to costume their figures, they are asked to bring only natural fabrics and matching sewing threads. Special sewing needles will be provided. Full written instructions on sculpting, molds, tools, Genesis Heat Set Oil Colors, wig hair, clay, etc. will be provided.

TIME: 36 hours. Completion of more than one figure is highly likely.

POWER TOOLS: None

SKILL LEVEL: All levels. Please remember that this class deals with the human body and can get a little bawdy.

MATERIALS FEE: $80 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Gazmuri, Fellow
COURSE: Furniture Construction
PROJECT: 18th Century Chippendale Chair

(This class is FULL)

In the last half of the 18th century, Asian, Gothic and French Rococo designs blended to become what is known as the Chippendale style. Chairs in this style are known for having seats formed of straight lines, an outward flare at the top of the rear legs, sharply articulated ball and claw feet, and back splats with intricately intertwined pierced patterns.

The focus of this class is the woodworking techniques required for the construction of one chair. More advanced students, at their own discretion, are welcomed to make a pair at no extra cost. The rear legs will be cut by machine, mortises routed, and then refined by hand. Chair rails and their tenons will be cut by machine. The rear seat rail and crest rail will partially be shaped by hand and routed to accept the back splat. Cabriole legs terminating in ball and claw feet will be rough shaped by machine and refined by hand. Step-by-step instruction of the carving of the feet and the shell on the crest rail will be carefully explained. The back splat is partially machine-pierced; then hand-shaped.

Stain and final finish will be discussed and available for use in the classroom. The necessary carving tools will be provided and may be purchased from the instructor if a student so chooses.

Soft leather will be provided for the drop-in seat. Students may also choose to upholster the seat in a fabric of their selection. This piece lends itself nicely to a stitched seat cover.

TIME: 36 hours. While completion is unlikely, students will have all the instructions and materials to finish the project on their own. Due to the amount of handwork this piece requires, completion depends entirely upon the individual. The instructor believes handwork should be done in a relaxed manner at one’s own pace.

POWER TOOLS: table saw, scroll saw, drill press, shaper

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate and advanced. Previous experience with successful carving and shaping of wood is helpful, but not required.

MATERIALS FEE: $80 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Carol Hardy, Fellow
COURSE: Woodworking
PROJECT: Antique Watercolor Paint Box, c. 1799–1816

(This class is FULL)

In the mid-eighteenth century, the use of paint gradually increased and most traveling artists carried their tools with them in sturdy boxes partitioned to accommodate supplies. This paint box is one of the more uncommonly large artist boxes, yet in scale, it only measures 1 ¼" in length. It is of English origin and contains many interesting features. The lid, hinged with brass hardware, lifts to reveal a paper label on the underside. The rear tray lifts out of the box with storage underneath for quills and chalks. The fitted trays contain individual sections for pieces of watercolor blocks. A tray slides out from the bottom to accommodate mixing dishes, brushes and palettes, and there is additional space in the back for tools. Pictures of a variety of these paint boxes will be available in class for students to study; they may choose to use them to design their own unique box interior.

Students will learn authentic joinery techniques using dados, rabbets and lap joints in the construction of this fine, intricate paint box. They will begin by constructing the basic box along with fitted trays, drawers, dividers, and hinged lid. When completed, a finish will be applied, including the option to airbrush a fine satin finish. The lid will be attached with brass hinges, and brass hardware will be applied to the exterior.

At the end of the week, there will be an opportunity to create “cake paints” to fit into the box tray, and make a variety of other essential tools for the artist’s box.

TIME: 36 hours. Completion is likely with some overtime.

POWER TOOLS: table saw, scroll saw, drill press, shaper

SKILL LEVEL: This class is suitable for all levels from beginner to advanced. Students will be using a variety of both hand and power tools. It is helpful if they are comfortable using basic power tools. Accurate measuring is essential, so students will be asked to bring calipers to class.

MATERIALS FEE: $75 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Peter Kendall, Fellow
COURSE: Interior Room Construction
PROJECT: 18th Century New England Keeping Room

(This class is FULL)

This class project is an 18th century New England keeping room, used to prepare and serve food and as a living space before there were separate dining rooms and parlors. A principal feature of the room is the large brick and stone fireplace with a beehive oven and cubicle for storage of firewood. The stone and bricks will be made from basswood, using several acrylic substances and paints. This will occupy a significant portion of the class time. The side walls have the beveled boards as seen in the photo, plaster, and a door on one wall. Students will also make the mantle shelf and the aged pine floor. The ceiling will be the floorboards from the floor above with added beams. The room will be electrified with LED lighting.

Students will make the interior of the room. For an additional cost the instructor will provide materials to complete the exterior of the side walls—brick foundation and clapboard siding—and provide instructions for completing the exterior walls. Interior measurements are 16"W x 10" D x 9"H. The exterior measurements are 17"W x 13 ¼" D x 9 ½"H

TIME: 36 hours. Completion is likely with some overtime.

POWER TOOLS: table saw, shaper

SKILL LEVEL: Beginner and intermediate

MATERIALS FEE: $285 to be collected in advance of school. The additional materials fee for the exterior brick foundation and clapboard siding for the two side walls is $40.

INSTRUCTOR: Elga Koster, Artisan
COURSE: Furniture Construction
PROJECT: Queen Anne Writing Chair

This is a very rare Queen Anne chair dating from the early 1700s with an oval seat and unusual cabriole legs that are only found on early chairs of the period. It will look perfect with a desk or as an accent piece in both period and contemporary settings.

This class is all about furniture construction with traditional joinery. Students will learn how to cut perfectly matching cabriole legs and other pieces on the milling machine using jigs. The round foot of the cabriole leg will be turned on the lathe with an easy technique; no previous turning experience is needed for this step. The technique of building and designing jigs for complex pieces like the oval shape of the chair seat will be discussed in class. Mortise and tenon joints will be the main technique used for putting the chair together. The class will include making a slip seat ready for upholstering with the student’s choice of fabric. This chair can also be upholstered with petit point if the student so wishes. The chair will be made from cherry wood; staining and finishing it with the instructor’s favorite finish will be demonstrated in class throughout the week. Final finishing will need to be done at home as the drying times are too long for doing this in class.

TIME: 36 hours. Completion is likely with some overtime.

POWER TOOLS: table saw, scroll saw, lathe, drill press, shaper

SKILL LEVEL: The class is suitable for beginners to advanced students. Having worked with power tools before will be to the student’s advantage, but is not necessary.

MATERIALS FEE: $70 to be collected at school


INSTRUCTOR: Tine Krijnen, Artisan
COURSE: Multi-Media
PROJECT: Bookbinding and Gold/Silver Tooling

This class gives students the opportunity to learn how to make books and the chance to fill miniature rooms with lovely books; from simple books with illustrations to leather-covered books with flutes on the spine. Students will make books using simple to more intricate techniques of bookbinding. In addition to these techniques students will learn to make the covers even more elaborate, when tooling gold and silver foil.

Tooling gold/silver on the covers will be an integrated part of this class. Students will tool decorative ornaments, titles, or titles on a different colored title shields, using ultra thin leather. For heating the tools, students will use an upside down iron installed in a wooden crate. Besides a single ornament holder, students will learn how to work with “Simon,” an ornament holder that can hold bigger ornaments and words formed with separate letters.

The class will start with an explanation of the basic knowledge of binding books for beginning students and as a refresher for advanced students. Halfway through the week students will learn how to make a hand-sewn book, using a sewing frame specially created for making small books. The frame will be provided by the instructor for use during class.

Students will work at their own pace on their books, receiving personal coaching and instruction. At the end of the class they will have the completed the hand-sewn, tooled Tulip book, a lot of beautiful tooled blank books, approximately 20 pieces, and the knowledge to continue bookmaking at home.

TIME: 36 hours. Completion is likely.

POWER TOOLS: None

SKILL LEVEL: Students of all levels will have pleasing results. Steady, firm hands will ensure an even better result.

MATERIALS FEE: $80 to be collected at school. Additional tools and ornaments will be offered for an optional fee.

INSTRUCTOR: Deb Mackie, Artisan
COURSE: Leather Crafting
PROJECT: Tooled Leather Train Case

In the late 1920s, the emergence of sleek streamliner passenger trains enticed passengers to travel for leisure in elegance and style. While the bulky, old-fashioned “steamer” trunks were still somewhat in use, train passengers began taking smaller cases on board with them. These hard-sided cases usually had a mirror inside the lid, and many compartments for toiletries, hairbrushes, and other incidentals. Sizes varied from a small, handbag-sized box for just a few items, to larger suitcase-sized models that could serve as a portable dressing table for freshening up while traveling. The train case was the original “carry-on” luggage, and remained a favorite even into the 1950s and 60s when travel by autos and airline became more popular.

Students will begin with tooling patterns for their case exterior and transfer to undyed 3 oz. tooling leather. Various leather crafting techniques will be taught, such as stamping, carving, embossing, stitching, and skiving (thinning the leather). Students will learn how these techniques can be adapted for working in miniature. Dyeing, coloring and finishing techniques will be taught and applied to the leather.

Wooden pieces for the body, lid and tray of the case will be provided. Students will sand and adjust the fit of the pieces; and then line the interior with leather prior to assembly. After the box is assembled, the tooled exterior pattern pieces will be cut and fitted to the wooden case body. A small mirror, decorative studs, and brass hardware will be supplied to finish the case.

TIME: 36 Hours. Completion is likely, depending on skill level.

POWER TOOLS: None

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate and advanced

MATERIALS FEE: $65 to be collected at school. All materials will be provided, with some of the instructor’s specialized leather tools available for use during class. Some tools will be included in the materials fee, and a list of other basic tools will be available for students to purchase before class.

INSTRUCTOR: Mark Murphy, Fellow
COURSE: Furniture Construction
PROJECT: William and Mary Highboy

(This class is FULL)

This is a very fine example of an 18th century Rhode Island William & Mary Highboy, descended directly from the family of William Rogers of Newport, RI (1709–1772). Its features include molded cornice, applied double-arch molding on the case, triple arched skirt with a high arch in the center and s-shaped curves to the outside. The piece also features beautifully turned legs with compressed cup turnings, ball feet and a wonderfully shaped stretcher.

The class will involve construction of the cases and drawers, making and applying all of the moldings, turning the legs (each leg is turned in two pieces and joined at the stretcher), constructing and shaping the stretcher and applying the hardware. When the construction is complete, students will learn the instructor’s finishing techniques. This process will need to be completed at home because of the drying time needed between each step.

Students will construct the piece in cherry and finish it with stain and a glaze coat to give it a warm aged look. There are some examples of these forms that have a painted “Japanned” decoration. This is a process of applying gold paint over a black or red background to simulate Japanese lacquer work. This could be an option for painters to try at home.

TIME: 36 hours. Completion of all the construction is expected.

POWER TOOLS: table saw, scroll saw, lathe, drill press, shaper

SKILL LEVEL: The class is designed for beginner to intermediate students. The beginner student may need to do some extra work outside of the class time.

MATERIALS FEE: $80 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Bill Robertson, Artisan
COURSE: Lathe Class
PROJECT: Turning Brass Candlesticks

This is a beginner lathe class. While it may seem difficult to start off by turning metal it really is easier. As one former student put it, “Brass is the wood I have always been looking for, it doesn’t split or break.” What makes this class so helpful in learning how to use the lathe is we repeat each step 10 times. The first time it might take 2 hours to turn a part, the tenth time it might take six minutes. This is important for two main reasons. First, this built-in practice gives the student the confidence to really learn to do something, not just once but over and over again. Trust me, this is a lot more fun than writing the same thing on a chalkboard. Second, if students learn to work faster, they can get more done in the allotted hobby time, so they don’t have to be a professional to become proficient.

Students will learn about the different ways to hold work in the lathe, chucks, centers and collets; and to measure and work to within a thousandth of an inch. Different types of cutting tools will be used, both hand-held gravers and fixed tool bits in a lathe mounted holder. Students will be shown how to grind bits to shape and sharpen them. Turning other materials such as wood will also be covered, however the big secret is that it is almost done the same way as metal.

The project will be copying a reproduction candlestick that has been chosen for the large number of repeating shapes. This is the perfect exercise to practice on. Students will first rough out brass bar stock to fit in the lathe collets. Then a series of measured ridges will be turned and shaped with gravers to become wonderful moldings and pleasing curves. With practice this method can be used to make duplicate turnings. Drilling, polishing and shaping a tapered square base will be done to finish the candlestick. Students are going to start off making ten; they will make mistakes and lose some along the way, but remember we learn more from our mistakes. The goal is to end up with one or two pairs. Typically, students will work at different speeds and should any finish the first project early, a second project will be ready to start. After taking this class students will have the understanding and confidence to tackle what seemed like impossibly complex projects on their own at the lathe.

(Last year this class was taught as a 24-hour class and weeks later elsewhere in a longer format. The results and learning experience was greatly enhanced by the longer work sessions in class, hence the 36-hour length.)

TIME: 36 hours. Completion is likely.

POWER TOOLS: lathe

SKILL LEVEL: Beginner or students who want a refresher class

MATERIALS FEE: $75 to be collected at school