Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Upholstered Furniture Forms


Upholstered Furniture Forms

All Levels


In 2019 we’re introducing a series of classes that will challenge the aspiring and established furniture makers to explore new creative directions and, for many, novel materials or contemporary ways of using materials.

We’re delighted to have Nick Stawinski introduce you to the art of upholstery, both for comfort and as an exploration of form, texture, color and structure. Nick’s work is both serious and delightfully idiosyncratic and we hope that it will be an inspiration for you to expand your vision and skills.

A fourth-generation upholsterer, Nick draws inspiration from the post-industrial landscape of Detroit, shaping his vision and designs from defunct water towers, aging incinerators and silent smokestacks. His upholstered forms “make the old and unwanted into the new and desirable.”

The upholstered stool is a welcome companion to the comfy chair at the end of a long day. Nick will encourage you to design, build and upholster your own, companionable stool.

Build a humble footstool so that you can put your feet up with justifiable pride!


Class Description

This two-week course will cover the design and construction of a small, upholstered ottoman, footstool, or bench. The first week, you'll explore the construction techniques of a small upholstered low seat. The second week is a continuation but also an exploration into sculptural form, either through a new object or continuing and adding parts to the seat from the first week.

You will learn how to upholster the frame that you construct and you'll become familiar with upholstery tools, materials, and processes. As a production craftsman Nick focuses on efficiency in the shop, you’ll learn how to use air staplers to complement the traditional hand tools.

Emphasis will be placed on learning the upholstery process and the design, construction process.

Tool List

Students please bring;

  • Three yards (54"-58" in length) of upholstery fabric of your choice, and no smaller than a yard of fabric

  • Eye Protection

  • Tape measure

  • Channel Lock Plier #447 Cutting Plier

  • Husky Tack puller or similar upholstery staple puller

  • Stanley Retractable Blade box cutter

  • Pencils and Pens or whatever you like to draw with

  • Fine point Sharpie Markers

  • Sketchbook


This class is open to everyone, no skill prerequisites. This is a beginning fabrication course and covers basic woodworking shop skills. 

Class Information and Registration

Class runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday for two weeks.
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: $1450
Materials Charge: $150

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.