Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition


Reflections from Fall 2015 Foundations of Woodworking Students


thoughts from this Fall’s Foundations of Woodworking students as they reflect on their experience at PTSW.

On passion: "Time chasing my passion & dreams in woodwork is the first time in many years that I have once again truly been myself, living with a joy and curiosity I thought had been lost many, many years ago."

On community: “Feeling like I’ve stepped into a community of people who are really devoted to this has been amazing.”

On problem solving: “I appreciated the diversity of styles... you really start to understand that there are always options, this is improvisational a lot of the time. You have your tool kit and you have to figure out what to do with it to make it to the end goal. Knowing that there’s more than one way to do do something has helped me be more confident in diving in and figuring it out.”

On foundations: “The course is amazing in giving you a base, and from that base you can go in a lot of different directions in woodworking.”

On handtools: “For me, it built a hand tool confidence...I feel like it will be more valuable for me to integrate the machines into my hand work rather than hand tools into my machine work.”

On our instructors: “I don’t think I ever saw Abel or Matthew as a team not be able to answer a question. That’s when I knew this was really great.”

“There was a lot of freedom to take the conversation in different directions….Abel and Matthew are so versatile, they could speak to almost anything we asked them about.”

On place: “I love coming to this Fort everyday. I don’t know how many time’s I’ve walked Bunker Hill or gone down to the beach. It’s just a cool place to have a traditional woodworking school.”

“You’re not just teaching people how to cut dovetails, there’s a philosophical framework, it’s a heritage school. Coming here and being surrounded by trees and big windows adds to the romance of the thing. I believe what we’re doing is important and it’s nice to be in an evolving facility.”

On expectations: "I was surprised by the first three weeks how intense the pace was. But I also found that I really enjoyed that, and learned so much more than I had anticipated."