Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All New January Traditional Skills Workshops for Vets, But All Others Welcome Too

Jan. 16 Update: Cancelled because of lack of enough students/ Will Re-schedule for late February.

Museum Village is offering skills workshops for veteransAlign Right, but anyone else interested in taking a class is welcome too. Museum Director Robert Schmick says “Orange County has a very large number of veterans, and we want to offer them opportunities to learn about some traditional trades and skills that connect with our 19th century setting that they might enjoy doing and which could become part of a side business.” There will be a 15 percent discount on tuition for veterans with an ID.

The first three, Beginning Blacksmithing, Backyard Woodworking, and Chair Caning are planned for January and February. Warwick rustic woodworker Daniel Mack is doing the Backyard Woodworking. He’s made his living for 30 years from making things from sticks, logs, driftwood and trees. “I’d like to share both the technical parts of this work and offer some marketing advice on selling rustic objects.

Chair Caning
Learn how to cane a chair. You will have the choice of natural or artificial rush, cane, and other varieties. Tools will be provided but you can bring your own. Materials for one chair will be provided. Your own seat-free chair required. Class Limit: 8 Tuition: $100 for four 7-9PM sessions on Jan. 24, Jan. 31, Feb. 7, & Feb. 14.

Backyard Woodworking
This workshop provides the basic skills to make rustic projects from common woods and driftwood and to possibly start a small side business. The workshop runs for six Saturday mornings,10AM -2PM starting January 14. It meets at different locations around the county, including rustic woodworker Daniel Mack’s studio in Warwick, Museum Village, Bear Mountain, and the Newburgh waterfront. Class limit: 8-10

Beginning Blacksmithing
4 Days of Intensive Blacksmithing for Tuition/ 24 Hours of Instruction/$375 Friday, January 20: 5-9PM, Saturday, January 21: 10-6PM, Sunday, January 22: 10-6PM, & Monday, January 23: 5-9PM
Class limit: 6
Learn the basics of blacksmithing: tapering, bending, cutting and more. Make a set of skewers, spatula, spoon, door knocker, and tomahawk under the guidance of Adriaan Gerber. Gerber is a working blacksmith who creates entirely with hand tools high-quality axes, knives and swords that are sold worldwide. His home smithy is in Lamoine, Maine, near Acadia.

On Jan.18 & 19, 11-1PM, a free blacksmithing demonstration (Making a Tomahawk) is scheduled at Museum Village for those interested in taking this blacksmithing course or are curious.

Tuition for the Backyard Woodworking and Beginning Blacksmithing course is $375 for 24 hours of instruction. Chair Caning is $100 for 8 hours of instruction.

Sponsors are also being sought to help make this affordable for any veteran who wants to take it. This series is being offered as part of the Orange County Art Councils Arts for Vets Project.

To register, or offer to sponsor a veteran, or for more information, visit:, or call 845-781-3729 or email:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Backyard Rustic Woodworking Class for Veterans, Jan. 14-Feb.18, 2012

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world “

John Muir

Syllabus: Backyard Rustic Woodworking for Veterans
Saturdays, Jan 14 - Feb 18 2012, 10AM-2PM

Make a Small Chair, Table, Land Art, Carving, Accessories, Learn about Marketing

Rustic Woodworker Daniel Mack has been working with fallen wood, saplings, logs and driftwood for 30 years. He uses a variety of simple, traditional and contemporary woodworking tools to make furniture, architectural elements, accessories and sculptures. This workshop provide the basic skills to make rustic projects from common woods and driftwood and possibly start a small side business. More information go to

January 14 at Dan Mack’s Shop, 14 Welling Ave., Warwick, NY

Rustic is just putting some patterns or forms on some materials
10 Meet, Tour studio area, Discuss materials, tools, safety possible projects,
10:30 Tools/Techniques Demo 1: mortise and tenon joint: by hand, with cutters
11-1 Make a Small Table: 4 holes, four tenoned legs Finishing options
1:30 Tools/Techniques Demo 4: power carvers, power chisels

January 21 at Dan Mack’s Shop, 14 Welling Ave., Warwick, NY

10 Tools/Techniques Demo 2: Drill Press, Big Drill, Chop Saw
11-2 Make a 12” Trophy Chair to get practice with tools, sticks, joint-making

January 28 at Museum Village, 1010 Rt.17M, Monroe, NY

10 Tour and Introduction and practice with the hand tools of woodworking
Hand Tool projects/Skills building1:30 Marketing Talk : Basic Writing skills, photography skills, elevator speech

February 4 at Newburgh Waterfront and/or Plum Point.

10 Introduction to working with driftwood: coped joints, mechanical joinery
Practice Land Art with Driftwood
1:30 Marketing Talk #3 networking, on-line and off-line; Media and Social media

February 11 at Museum Village, 1010 Rt. 17M, Monroe, NY

10 Small-scale woodworking. Intro to whittling, carving and rustic accessories.
11 Work on small-scale projects
1:30 Directions for Marketing and Selling

February 18 at Bear Mt. Park

10 Visit several Outdoor Benches Large scale Joinery, durability
11 Tour BMI Lobby: Birch Bark veneering
12 Gift Shop: who’s selling what?
1 Snack Bar: Marketing Talk; close of Workshop

CHECKLIST Workshop 2012

Increased facility with tools and techniques, Better understanding of personal sense of design, motivations for Making, appreciation for breadth--the “grammar”---
of natural materials


learning when to use what tool

Shop Set-up Tables, lights, storage, heat, safety, air cleaning, Safety Glasses

Cutting Tools Loppers, Clippers, Knives, Hand Carving Tools, Saws: Hand folding, Bow,

Circular, Chop Saw, Reciprocating, Jig, Chain Saw: Gas, electric, Safety and blocking

Tenon Cutter: stationary, changing heads, adjusting blades, Safety and blocking

Portable (Lee Valley): methods of use; Alternatives: Hand Cutting, Chisels, hole saws, grinders

Antique Tools: hollow auger, spoke pointer, Rounder

Drills: 1/2”, 3/8” corded, battery, “keyless chuck”

Drill Bits Varieties, uses

Drill Press: floor, table model, Use of V Blocks, shims

Holding Hands in Gloves Vises, Clamp, extensions, bungees, Shaving Horse

Finishing Rationale(s) Grinders, Dremel, Sanders: Random Orbital, etc.

Sandpaper: grits, backings

Specialised Arbortech Carvers, Power Chisels

Techniques: Several Techniques can get similar results; Which to use??

Acquiring: The Hunt: Gleaning, Buying

Construction: Mortise/Tenon, Wedged Tenons Mechanicals: rationale, screws,(trims, timberlocs...)

Chemical: Glues: varieties, conditions for use

Alternative Joinery: Gravity, wire string, wax, velcro

Bark Applique handling, adhesion, trimming, finish

Finishing Oils, stains, lye, vinegar,

Sealers: oils, water-based, wipe-ons, Waxing

Woods: Identifying, Acquiring, Harvesting, Peeling, Storing Drying and Kilns and Bugs

“Country” Drawknife/Shaving Horse, axe, froe, spoke shave

Seating: Seat Weaving, Upholstery

Tricks and Tips: markers, paints, plugs, dirt, acorns, leveling legs

Outering/Uttering writing skills, speaking skills

Marketing selling windows or mirrors?


Slab Wood and Driftwood to make benches and stools, Dry Sticks with Bark

Peeled, Fresh Cut: Hickory, Mulberry, & Maple

Purchased rustic materials: “fence posts”, fencing, lumber, Re-Claimed Wood, & planks

Exotics: White Birch Bark

Found Objects: stones, bones, feathers, soil, water, nests,

Projects: Time to Allow for Projects

Trophy chair, 12” high 4-6 hrs Bench 1 ¼ mortise/tenon joints 4 hrs

Garden Arbors/Trellises 4 hrs++ Ephemeral Work/Gifts 10 minutes ++

Land Art 1 hr++ Carved Bowls (with power carver) 30 min++

Found Wood Carving 1 hr++ Birch Bark appliqué 2 hrs++

Adult arm/side chair 10-12 hours Child’s arm chair, about 22” high 6 hrs.

Headboard 4 hrs Table structure 4-6 hrs

Discussion notes, concepts and terms

Elements of Rustic Design Rustic is an attitude, a mirror, a window

Human nature loves heartily well-balanced irregularity and longs for it in life, in character, and in almost everything else .

Calvert Vaux Villa and Cottage Architecture 1864

Rustic = affinity of opposites: geometry/nature, order/chaos, mater/pater, understructure/over structure,
Rustic = Linear and non-linear Geometry,
Rustic = The Need, the Intention, The Hunt, Making, Moving Along.
Rustic = geometry + craft + natural materials
Rustic = simple understructure + interesting feature
Rustic = mortality, transience, but not permanence
Rustic = a copy, interpretation, homage of something else.

Slide Talks: Dictionary of Rustic, Rustic in Architecture, Spirit of Rustic

The Four Needs: The Need for Wonder, The Need for Dexterity (hand-spirit, Infinite Play), The Need for Stories (the Diamonic), The Need for the Organic/Sensual/The Freal/The Carnal (Green Man./Al Khdir)

Nature-Time-Patience are 3 great healers

The “Other” Courses… Visitors to be alert for:

Your family:
who visited you this week?? Who are you Building What For? Why?

Moods: frustration, slow, fast, Encounters with rude people, kind people, young people, the same people

Inferiores: the rest of the clan, the gremlins, the preferred, deferred and denied s’elfs, Dreams Coincidences,

Encounters with the Elements: fire, earth, water, air, moon, rain, cold, sweat, sun, smell, noise, movement

What Creatures Appear?: snakes (life energy), mosquitoes (persistence), rabbits, coyotes (trickster), spider(balance), butterfly(change/grace), salamanders(adaptable), bear(strong/introspective), raccoon(curious, playful pesky), fox(clever/adapts), ants(patient), heron(solitary), deer(sensitivity), owl (insight), hawk (vision/aggression), frog(healing/cleansing/transformation),

Activities/Exercises to honor the Other unconscious workshop

Tree Id

Woods Walks

Watching people

Looking at slides

Looking at Videos


Collecting Materials

Design Books

Field Trips

Visiting Sawmills


Haiku/Senru Poetry

Mud Painting

Dancing with Sticks


found/arranged Gifts

“Smalls”, Toys Land-Based Arrangement

Objects reflecting various techniques/materials

Collaborate, Assist, Be Assisted

Get up at 5:30 AM to hear some of the 100 possible Songbirds express Joy, Anxiety, Conspicuity, Alarm, Defense

Points of Rustic Interest for Possible Side Trips