Rosewood Studio School of Fine Woodworking; Tools, Courses, Workshops and Instruction

News Article


Rosewood Studio Newsletter March 2015

    As I write this we are into week nine of our Twelve Week Program, and Adrian Ferrazzutti is in the shop teaching the Studio Veneering segment of the program, after which only three weeks will remain before we wrap it up.  We’ve enjoyed a full house of great people once again, with students joining us from as far away as Seoul, South Korea. They have all weathered a harsh winter with good humor, and it’s been a pleasure having each of them with us.
     After the current class wraps up, we’ll start into our spring guest instructor season. This year we are pleased to be offering classes with, in order of appearance, Garrett Hack, Tom Fidgen, Michael Fortune,  Vic Tesolin and Paul Andrews.
  Garrett Hack   Tom Fidgen  
    Our first guest instructor this spring will be Garrett Hack, returning from Thetford Center, Vermont for his thirteenth year teaching at Rosewood. In this spring’s class he will lead students through the layout and construction of a case featuring curved front dovetailed drawers. Each student will construct a solid wood case with a bowed front, into which they will make and fit two drawers, using either sawn or laminated drawer fronts. As always, Garrett will combine hand tools and machinery to help you craft an elegant small piece with the attention to detail that will help make your work stand out.      Author of Made by Hand and The Unplugged Woodshop, Tom Fidgen will be back again this year for six days starting April 27th for his hand tool only It Starts With a Box. Students in this class will build a dovetailed, wall hung cabinet, starting with designing the piece and creating a full size drawing then proceeding with the selection of wood and proceeding with construction of the cabinet using only their hands and a good set of hand tools. This is another class perfectly suited to those who have no access to woodworking machinery, or no desire to use anything but hand tools. Truly “woodworking unplugged”!  


  Michael Fortune      
   Michael “Mick” Fortune has just returned to Canada from “down under” in Australia and New Zealand, and will be teaching the construction of a butterfly leaf table as we try to assimilate him back into Canadian society. This elegant solution to storing the leaves for an expanding table assures that the leaves will never get left behind in a closet, and are always close at hand and quick to install when company comes over. Each student will make an actual expanding table during the class in order to gain a hands-on understanding of how to size and layout the moving leaves. As always, Michael will share countless tips and techniques he has relied upon in a career spanning more than 40 years to help make your furniture making faster, easier and more efficient. We hope you can join us to learn from one of the acclaimed masters of our craft.


  Vic Tesolin      

     Almost a decade ago, Vic Tesolin left the Canadian military and attended classes at Rosewood for nine months. Since completing his training, he has joined us as resident craftsman, served as editor at Canadian Woodworking Magazine, and is now Woodworking Technical Advisor at Veritas/Lee Valley tools., His article on joinery planes in the latest issue of Fine Woodworking Magazine, his blog site The Minimalist Woodworker, and his upcoming book from Spring House Press by the same name all give us a clue to Vic’s passion for using hand tools. For five days starting June 1st, Vic will return to Rosewood for Build a Shop Stool With The Minimalist Woodworker. Vic will lead the class through the making of a piece of furniture completely by hand, with dozens of tips and techniques demonstrated to increase the speed, accuracy and efficiency of your hand tool work. You’ll leave with a stool that frankly, just might be too nice to keep in the shop!  


  Paul Andrews

   Paul Andrews will join us from his studio in Prince Edward County starting June 22nd for six days for Build a Danish Stool. Paul is a graduate of both The Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking and the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship.

  His work embodies a fine sense of design and keen attention to detail that make his furniture among the best being made in Canada today. We are delighted to have him join us for six days for this class, which promises  to teach not only a skill that is new to many of us, but also lessons in working with solid wood curves and selecting materials to improve their overall impact in a design.


  Craftsmanship Series Classes

Make Your Own Hand Tools
      It has been several years since we have offered Make Your Own Hand Tools, running this spring from May 25th to the 29th. During this class, students can look forward to making a wooden hand plane or two, an accurate square, a low angle spokeshave and a shooting board. There is a pleasure in using tools that you have made yourself that has to be experienced to be fully understood. If the idea of creating your own tools interested you, I hope you will be able to join us.


  Basics of Fine Woodworking

   Originally offered in an attempt to lure people indoors from the golf course and the cottage during the summer, our two week Basics of Fine Woodworking class has proven to be very popular so we will be running it again this year starting June 8th. This class is essentially a combination of our Excellence With Hand Tools and Mastering Machinery classes, offered together at a 20% discount in cost. These classes or their equivalent are a prerequisite for many of our other classes, and serve as an excellent place to start if you are new to woodworking or lacking in formal instruction in the safe, accurate and efficient use of woodworking hand tools and machinery. This course is suitable for woodworkers of a wide range of skill levels, and with a maximum class size of eight, is easy to tailor to individuals at various skill levels.
  Twelve Week Craftsmanship Program

  As hard as it is to think of September and the onset of fall when we are still struggling to put winter behind us, registrations for our fall Six and Twelve Week Programs have started. As always, we offer a gift of a new Veritas hand plane to those who register early, so if you are thinking of joining us in September, do it more than 3 months before the class starts if you can to qualify for your gift. If you have any questions, please give us a call.

Rosewood Honour Roll
     Congratulations are due once again to Rosewood alumnus Peter Coolican, this time for winning the Interior Design Show silver award for best booth at this January’s show in Toronto. Peter was also featured in this article in the Toronto Star. Congratulations and nicely done Peter!

   It’s also been great to see the work of Rosewood instructors and alumni featured by Canadian Woodworking Magazine and in it’s newsletters. Check out profiles featuring  Adam Kropinski, Adrian Ferrazzutti, Steve Der Garabedian, and Norman Pirollo.


  What Will Happen to Your Tools

   We often get calls from people who have an entire woodworking shop full of tools and machinery that they would like to sell. Sometimes they are settling the estate of a family member who has passed on, or even more sadly, one that can simply no longer enjoy time in their shop due to health issues. Rarely, the call is from someone who has simply decided to “get out of woodworking”. Having been “into” woodworking for so many years, this one puzzles me, but it does happen occasionally.
   Whatever the case, the caller is usually looking to sell everything together, and is usually frustrated in their inability to do so. But its not all that surprising when you stop to think of how most people get involved in woodworking. Rarely do we go out looking for an entire shop of tools and machinery at once. We instead tend to buy a piece at a time, as we gain experience, as the need arises or the budget allows. So the people who are looking to buy seldom want the whole shop, just the individual pieces that they have yet to acquire.
     So all of this leads to the fact that when you are done with all your stuff, unless someone is going to sell it piece by piece for you, someone is going to get a great deal. I suggest you come to terms with this, and enjoy using it while you still can.

  In this vein, I would like to leave you this time around with a picture sent to us by former student Terry Gibbon, who recently moved into a new home and shop. The photo shows the door mat his daughter got him for Christmas.

   Hope you got as good a laugh out of it as I did,

Ron Barter
Rosewood Studio
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Posted 2015-03-16 | Last Modified 2016-03-17 09:09:05