Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Curved Furniture


Curved Furniture



This class was formerly known as Creativity in Design, but in recent conversation (Feb 2018) Tim and Seth decided to rename the class to reflect it's true intention - to encourage aspiring furniture makers to, literally, go outside the box. Our goal is to empower makers who want to explore curved forms in their furniture designs and to give them the skills need to design and make curved components.

Furniture makers, designers, aspiring sculptors and the downright-ingenious all need a toolbox of techniques for creating forms and shapes in wood that go beyond normal traditional rectilinear ways of working with wood.

Think of this course as expanding your design vocabulary. Being able to conceive of or draw a shape doesn’t mean you won’t tear out a lot of hair trying to figure out how to make it, or that you’ll know how to join it to the other pieces in your work.  Furniture makers, Seth Rolland and Tim Lawson will share the techniques and tricks that they’ve developed over the years.


Class Description

We encourage students to come with an idea they want to explore - we’ll go through a series of design exercises to help you explore and then refine your design. To get the most from the class - we suggest a modest sized piece that incorporates some elements you don’t know how to make.

Or you can can treat the course as playtime and give yourself permission to focus on techniques and exploring the limits of what you can do with wood without focusing on a single design.

During the class we’ll cover various forms of bending; steam bending, bent lamination, free form lamination with vacuum bags, and the use of coopering. We'll also explore stack lamination, and carving to create more complex three dimensional components.  We’ll take you through the process from rough form to finished through the use of hand tools, small power tools and stationary tools.

Our focus is on giving you the confidence to be able to fully explore your ideas when you return to your shop. We encourage you to work with poplar, alder or other less precious woods so that you are not afraid to push the limits of your exploration of techniques and process.


  • Sketchbook, pencil, eraser

  • Camera to record your own and others ideas and techniques


  • Common sense, pragmatism and good sense of humour

  • Willingness to explore design, and participate in critique sessions

Preferred but not essential:

  • Experience with stationary woodworking machines - table saw, bandsaw, jointer, planer, etc.

  • Experience with portable woodworking machines - router, sander, angle grinders

  • Experience with hand tools

  • We will be covering machine use, safety and good workshop practices throughout the course

Class Information and Registration

Class starts at 9:00am on the first day.
This class takes place in Building 304 at Fort Worden. Map
Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.
Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $1500
Materials Charge: $50

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.