Many spoon carvers struggle with how to safely and efficiently make a beautiful short spoon. Learn to simultaneously make two 5-inch pocket spoons using this unconventional double-blank technique. Called the “gullwing” method, it was created by teaching artist Liesl Chatman and is designed for safety, minimum wood waste, and carving with reduced hand strength. The method starts with simultaneously profiling two 5” spoons, laid end-to-end in one billet of wood, forming a “gullwing” shape. Next, after using a template for the plane view, the bowls are hollowed out while the two spoons are still connected. After additional shaping with the axe, the spoons can be separated and finishing work including chamfers and facets can be completed.
In her teaching, Liesl focuses on mindfulness and creating a trusting learning community. In the first part of this class, students will use a basswood billet, so there is no need to concentrate on keeping greenwood moist and hands won’t become fatigued. The technique also transfers well to greenwood and in the second half of the class, students may purchase blanks to repeat the process with greenwood. Students should have prior experience with spoon carving and/or taken a beginning spoon carving class. Liesl is a queer teacher and all genders are welcomed.
The materials fee for this class is $35 and is included in the admission cost. Materials include a double basswood billet and a spoon template as well as a mini instruction booklet. Although Fireweed tools are available for use during class, it is recommended that students bring their own carving axes, sloyd knives, and small folding saws.
--------------------Taught by Liesl Chatman (@rivchicawarrior)
Learn how to carve a bowl from a log! In this course you will learn to prepare a blank (roughed out bowl shape), hollow with an adze and shape with an axe. If there is time you will clean up the bowl with gouges to add texture. Each session of this 4-session class will begin with axe gymnastics to get comfortable using an axe. The final day will include a demo on finishing with milk paint.
The materials fee for this class is $50 and is included in the admission cost.
Taught by Jess Hirsch. Assisted by Jeanette Torkelson
Join us for a special BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) centered class to practice the basics of Power Tools
Make a cutting board while learning how to use power tools. We will cover using the electric planer, ripping on the table saw, cross cutting on the miter saw, curved cuts on the bandsaw, and finishing. This is a great chance to get to know, or brush up on the most powerful tools in the shop. Take home your very own cherry or maple cutting board at the end.
Taught by Meena Mangalvedhekar (@meenanew) Bio 1. Bio 2.
Learn how to carve a spoon from a fresh cut tree using traditional Nordic carving techniques. We cover tree anatomy, axing out a blank (roughed out spoon shape), knife holds for the hook & sloyd knife, drying, and finishing. This class is great for the beginner or the person wanting to learn Sloyd style carving. The class fee includes tool rental, materials, a finishing kit, and safety gloves. Please wear pants and close toed-shoes, as we are going to make some wood chips!
The materials fee for this class is $20 and is included in the admission cost.
This class is taught by Katie Speckman.
The materials fee for this class is $20 and is included in the admission cost.
This class serves as a perfect introduction to woodblock carving and hand printing. Equally interesting to participants who have worked with wood before and those who are completely new to the medium, this class will teach the basics of how to transfer a pencil drawing onto a flat block of wood and then how to effectively carve the drawing in layers. Once the block is carved, we will then go over how to print it with watercolor pigment onto paper by hand. The entire process is nontoxic, and can easily be reproduced at home!
All community members who identify as women or non-binary are welcome. All skill levels are encouraged to participate, share, and inspire a diversity of ideas. Please come to class with a pencil drawing already prepared that fits within an 8 x 10 inch page, and keep in mind your drawing will be flipped when printed (like seeing your drawing in the mirror).
The materials fee for this class is $40 and is included in the admission cost.
Taught by Savannah Bustillo
Learn how to keep your tools sharp!
Tool sharpening is an important part of woodcraft. A sharp tool is a safe tool and makes for cuts that are easier on our bodies. In this class we will review the required materials for sharpening. Students will leave with their own consumable sharpening kits. Instructor Jeanette will demonstrate a few different sharpening techniques and students will have plenty of time to practice sharpening their own tools. At the end of class students will have a basic understanding of what sharpening is and the skills to continue their own tool maintenance.
Students are required to bring their own tools to sharpen. Class will mostly focus on sharpening spoon carving tools (hook and straight knives) but students are encouraged to bring other tools, such as chisels, gouges or axes. No saws or serrated blades please!
The materials fee for this class is $15 and is included in the admission cost.
This class is taught by Jeanette Torkelson and assisted by Andrew Austin-Petersen.
Are you wondering about how to become a furniture maker? Ready to change that hobby into a career? Join us for a panel discussion with furniture makers' journeys moderated by Ellen Adams. Ellen will lead the discussion for the first hour and then you can ask questions to the panelists for the final 30 minutes! We are recording the talk so if you cant make it that night, you can watch it later. We will email you a link post discussion.
A bit about the panelists...
Born and raised in New York City, Sophie received her MFA in Furniture Design and Woodworking from San Diego State University, and BFA in Sculpture and Drawing from SUNY Purchase College.
Phoebe Kuo is a studio woodworker who makes site-specific sculpture using traditional furniture making techniques. As a craft researcher, she jointly received an Exhibition Research Grant from the Center for Craft for a book project on women in woodworking. Phoebe studied design at Stanford University and Cranbrook Academy of Art, and woodworking at The Krenov School. She lives in Oakland, CA, with her wife, baby, and two rabbits.
Vivian Chiu was born in Los Angeles and emigrated to Hong Kong at the age of three. Her interests in creating objects and the visual arts led her to attend the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA '11 Furniture Design) and Columbia University (MFA '19 Sculpture). With an aptitude for problem solving and a sensitivity towards materials, Vivian utilizes continuous deconstruction and reconstruction to create optical sculptures and explore ideas of visibility and perception. She is part of the 2022 American Craft Council Emerging Artists Cohort. Vivian is currently teaching in the Craft/Material Studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Sarah Watlington is a woodworker, artist and educator based in Los Angeles, CA. Sarah is a graduate of the Krenov School of Fine Woodworking, in Ft Bragg, CA, builds custom furniture as the project manager at Offerman Woodshop (LA), and teaches woodworking courses locally and across the country.
This discussion will be held on Zoom.
Join herbalist Emily Pearson Ryan and printmaking instructor Jessie Merriam for an exploration of nettle as a remedy, ingredient, and spring delight. Students will spend time with Emily learning about the practice of harvesting wild plant material. Students will have the opportunity to sample nettle in various forms including tea, then learn the process of woodblock printmaking by carving a design and printing it on different papers, including some pre-printed with information about the plant of focus for the class. There will be space for conversation about these intertwined crafts—the healing arts of plants—during the tea and carving time.
This course is beginner friendly. A short walk plant walk is an option, nettle emergence and weather permitting. For this intro to printmaking, the designs will be provided. Students will use sharp tools to carve 4x6" blocks and use water-based inks for printing, using methods easy to replicate at home.
Materials cost for this class is $30 and is included in the admission cost.
Taught by Jessie Merriam (@wheelbugs) and Emily Pearson Ryan
It can be hard to find just the right picture frame--especially for one-of-a-kind art--and custom frames are expensive. Solve that problem by learning how to build your own! We'll use the table saw, chop saw, and drill to construct basic frames out of poplar. Students should come to class with dimensions of the piece they want to frame, and we'll take it from there!
Students will pre-pay for materials- although if you'd like to make more than one, the cost difference can be paid the day of class to Kate.
The materials fee for this class is $15 and is included in the class admission cost.
Taught by Kate Schiffler (@bbfurnituremn)
Framing is the process of connecting materials together to create a structure. Think of it as the skeleton that supports all the other features of a building.
Working individually, in pairs, and as a team --in this class you will frame and build an interior wall. You will get lots of time and practice with the power tools involved in the framing process. The wall will be constructed for the purpose of the class and then taken down at the end of the class.
The materials fee for this class is $75 and is included in the class admission cost.
Taught by Dylan Linet
Learn to make a functional and beautiful whisk brooms. In this 5 hour introduction class you will learn techniques to make a strong and sturdy hand broom. We will also learn to process stalks, plait handles and stitch the broom flat. Leave feeling confident and inspired to explore the world of broom making.
Please wear closed toed shoes.
The materials fee for this class is $12.50 and is included in the admission cost.
This class is taught by Tina Green Krause
In this three-session class, each student will make a nesting box suitable for a family of Black-capped Chickadees. Students will learn table saw operation to cut beveled edges for coopering a six-walled bucket-shaped birdhouse. We will also address compound angle cuts on the band saw and a hinged roof. Finally, students will have to opportunity to decorate their birdboxes however they like with the provided paints and stains.
The materials fee for this class is $28 and is included in the class admission cost.
Taught by Jules Bunch
Make your own rolling pin!
Learn the ins and outs of spindle turning on the lathe! This is a great intro class for anyone that has been curious about the lathe but is feeling intimidated. Learn to use the roughing gouge, parting tool, and detail gouge.
Taught by Jess Hirsch LINK to bio.
Come learn how to turn your own bowl on the lathe! We will start with a freshly cut bowl blank and take it all the way to its finished shape. You will be learning parts of the lathe, how to mount your blank, and how to use bowl gouges, scrapers, and different chuck attachments. We will also cover how you will later on dry, sand, and finish the bowl. In this 4 hour class we will go at a pace at which everyone is comfortable, leaving plenty of room for demonstration, questions, and hands-on time.
The materials fee for this class is $25 and is included in the admission cost.
Taught by Abbey Dickhudt
The materials fee for this class is $20 and is included in the admission cost.__________________________
Learn how to carve a Dala horse using traditional Nordic carving techniques. We'll cover grain direction, knife holds for the hook & sloyd knife, and finishing. This class is great for the beginner or the person wanting to learn Sloyd style carving. Please note: we will not be painting these horses.
Please wear pants and close toed shoes, as we are going to make some wood chips!
The materials fee for this class is $20 and is included in the class admission cost.
Taught by Jess Hirsch.
Learn how to weave a hex style basket in bamboo! During this two session class you will practice working with the material and understanding the hex weave. The second part of the course will cover adding a rim and completing your basket.
What’s special about bamboo? Do you know that the bamboo fiber can in some cases be stronger than steel? Have you seen bamboo houses before? The earliest bamboo weaving goods were discovered amidst the ruins of Hemudu culture in southeast China 7000 years ago. This technique had evolved substantially during the Warring States period around 450 BC, and ever since. Due to its strong fiber content, flexibility, and affordability, bamboo has been widely applied in architecture, furniture, appliances, as well as art. After the class, students have 2 beautiful bamboo weaving projects of their very own and also widened perspectives of a miracle material.
This is Fireweed's first hybrid class. Instructor Lu Xu will be joining us virtually via Zoom from Guizhou, China but class will gather in-person at the woodshop. Students are invited to bring their laptops/Zoom devices but Fireweed will have a laptop set up for anyone to use to help Lu get a better look at students' weaving as they work. Education coordinator Nia will be on-site to host the class and navigate any technical difficulties if they arise.
The materials fee for this class is $42 and is included in the admission cost.
This class is taught by Lu Xu. Check out her work here!
In this multi-session class each participant will make a coffee table, side table or bench that fits their space and needs. We will adapt a design, mill our own wood, cut joinery including mortise and tenons and bridal joints, and sand and finish our tables.
This is an 8 session class that will run from May 2 - June 27 (No class on June 20)
This class offers two options for materials at two different price points. The cherry option is $70 in materials fees and is included in an admission total of $460. The walnut option is $115 in materials fees and is included in an admission total of $505. Additionally, we have micro-reparations pricing intended for BIPOC students.
Taught by Stephanie Lunieski
Do you need a raised bed for your yard or garden? Do you need compost to refresh the soil? This Fundraiser brings together Fireweed Board Members, Instructors, Members, and Volunteers to made Raised Garden Beds with all proceeds supporting the ongoing work and offerings of Fireweed Community Woodshop. Activated Compost and Vermicast generously provided by Mother Dirt Collective.
Visit the online store to purchase any fundraiser items you need and then plan to pick up on Saturday, May 6th.
Pop Up Retail Shop also in the works during pick up hours on May 6th 8:00am-3:00pm.
Are you looking for a fun introduction to woodworking? Love plants but hate dirt? Air Plant Displays is the class for you! In this class we will not only learn the basics of using the bandsaw, oscillating spindle sander, orbital sander, and finishing wood....we'll also be talking about airplant (genus: tillandsia) care. You'll leave class with an air plant (or two) AND a beautifully finished stand on which to display your new plant friend!
The materials fee for this class is $35 and is included in the admission cost.
Taught by Gwen Comings
Want to make custom hair accessories for your unique hair? This class will allow you to make a hair pin of your own design while getting familiar with using the bandsaw, combo sander, vice, hand sanding techniques, and wood grain. Come with an idea of how many tines your dream hair pin holds and fun shapes. We will have a selection of woods to choose from.
Please wear closed toed shoes and avoid dangly clothing. During this 2 hour class, students will be standing for the majority of the time.
The materials fee for this class is $15 and is included in the admission cost.
Taught by Brianna Oseland
Learn western-style block carving and printing with minimal tools at home, and make a set of prints/cards/stationery. We will learn about how to think in relief, utilize wood grain in design, how to transfer designs to a block, the techniques and different effects of the five basic carving tools and how to handle ink and paper and methods for printing using tools you have at home.
We will print in one color. Follow-up materials lists and resources will be sent to students looking to print more at home.
To maximize the time we have for carving questions, please prepare a 6x8 design (landscape or portrait orientation) for your block in advance. A design on paper can be transferred to the block so that the print will be the same orientation as the paper drawing, so any lettering in your design should be right-reading. Simple designs with bold image areas/texture that work with the grain (think fur, bark, a cloudy sky, or water...rather than curly-cues) without lettering are recommended. You will receive an email from your instructor, firstname.lastname@example.org, with more guidance around block design in advance of class.
Materials cost for this class is $22 and is included in the admission cost. Materials include ink, printmaking quality paper and cards, newsprint for proofs, shina plywood block 4x6, pencil, power grip carving tool rental and brayer tool rental.
Taught by Jessie Merriam (@wheelbugs)
At long last Open Shop is back!
Open shop is a time for you to bring in any projects or crafts you are working on and have access to the tools and the space. While we will have an instructor on staff to help open shop run smoothly and make sure tools are being used safely, this is a self-directed work time NOT class time. Open shop is capped at 6 participants and needs 6 participants to run.
Registrants of open shop MUST have taken power tools 101 or be comfortable and experienced using power tools.
Every attendee of open shop must register. Please no guests without registration!
Open shop will run once a month through May.
Please email email@example.com if you have any questions about open shop or what tools are available to use.
Facilitated by Bozena.
Join Erin Melzer to learn about the ins and outs of installing trim. Cut with a miter and coping saw the base, face, and trim and practice installing it with an airnailer. Learn what's behind the wall so your trim is secured properly. This course is designed for beginners. All skill levels welcome.
Please wear closed toed shoes and avoid dangly clothing. During this 3 hour class, students will be standing for the majority of the time. If you have questions about accommodations during class please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
The materials fee for this class is $10 and is included in the admission cost.
Taught by Erin Melzer
follow @bluecollarbabe1 - Union Carpenter.
Learn to make two functional and beautiful whisk brooms. This half day introduction class will cover traditional shaker and modern designs of the Turkey Wing and Sparrow tail hand brooms with wrapped or plaited handles. Bonus, you'll also use broomcorn remnants to make a cake tester, burnisher, or pot scrubber! Leave feeling confident and inspired to explore the world of broom making.
The materials fee for this class is $22 and is included in the admission cost.
This class is taught by Tina Greene Krause