Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Alumni pages

Abigail Cummings

After years of keeping woodworking on the back burner, two years ago I asked a friend to help me build a meditation table. We did, out of maple and purple heart, then made eight more for a retreat center. The experience invigorated and inspired me, which eventually led to enrolling in the Foundations Course of Fall 2014. 

I’m drawn to traditional joinery, the kind built to last. Japanese temples in particular have always felt magical to me, the great attention and care their builders took to ensure they’d survive for centuries. The course is aligned with that meticulous style, like when Steve Habersetzer told our class in the first week that glue lasts “only” 200 years, so you want your joinery to be good—I loved that. I also loved getting history lessons on pre-industrial design by Jim Tolpin, and learning the important role of ratios that feel proportional.

Post-Foundations Course, I’m living in Portland OR and spending time at ADX, a collaborative shop space. My husband Jake and I launched Oak Mgmt Company, a creative agency specializing in design and implementation. I’m spending time fixing up used hand tools to accompany the machines ADX already has, or more honestly, to use as often as possible in lieu of. Engaging in the maker-builder community and holding on to my ideals is tricky! I strongly believe in using solid wood and non-toxic finish, which is not so common anymore. PTSW trained me well, though. My instructors seemed to have the mindset of making only what they believe in. This is an integrity I aspire to carry. 

My dream projects include building a desk in 2015, and to build a house someday. Lately I’ve been designing cute little dovetail boxes, and exploring how woodworking can fit into what Jake and I do at Oak. Ultimately, I want to keep growing and learning, opening doors and opportunities. I hold immense love and gratitude to the faculty of PTSW, for the absolute blessing of knowledge.

Thanks so much for reading! Please feel free to contact me.

(503) 831-8366
Portland, OR

Kacie Guthrie