Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield, Vermont offers over 80 hands-on courses per year in design, construction, woodworking, and architectural craft and offers a variety of courses concentrating in sustainable design. Now in its 35th year, Yestermorrow is one of the only design/build schools in the country, teaching both design and construction skills. Our hands-on 1-day to 3-week workshops, certificate programs and semester programs are taught by top architects, builders, and craftspeople from across the country. For people of all ages and experience levels, from novice to professional.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Making Ladderback Chairs

Last week our Woodworking Intensive students were hard at work making green ladderback chairs, led by instructor Mark Krawczyk. Not only is Mark a skilled natural builder and permaculture teacher, he also crafts beautiful furniture, functional objects and traditional tools from green wood under his business RivenWoodCrafts up in Burlington, VT. This type of woodworking is also called green woodworking because the materials are generally shaped while still wet or ‘green’.

This class is a bit of a change of pace from the other sections of the Woodworking Intensive, which incorporate lots of power tools.
Rather than using sawn lumber from a mill, this course begins with a fresh, raw log, splitting it into parts shaped by hand with a draw-knife and shaving horse (a brilliantly simple foot-operated vice more than four centuries old). Because wood that has been split retains the natural strength and integrity of its fibers, they create strong, lightweight chairs that are beautiful as well as comfortable.

Check out the video below for a taste of what students learn in Mark's Green Ladderback Chair course. He's still got space in his next course, which starts October 2, 2011 and runs for 5 days.

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