August 10, 2008

Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking is proud announce the appointment Juan Carlos Fernandez to our faculty. Juan Carlos originally from Caracas Venezuela is a two year graduate of Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking and will teach afternoons from Monday through Friday. He joins Ian Godfrey another two year graduate of the school who will be going into his third year of teaching and will continue to teach Saturdays. Robert will continue to teach mornings and work at his bench during the afternoons. Gary Kent will continue to act as our relief teacher.

Yvonne and I are very grateful to have such a fine group of Craftsman & Teachers at our school.

Artisan C - Dovetails & Tool Making

Sorry we do not have a group photo

Artisan D - Joinery

from left Uri, Doug, Sascha, Brian, Unknown Craftsman, Lisa, Grig, Beatriz, Juan Carlos, Jason, Hannah & Robert

JK Lectures

As promised we have included a excerpt from Jim's lecture this past week on joinery. We will continue research a way to get the actual audio files on the website but hope that you enjoy his words in the meantime.

"...I think that I have talked many times with you and had a lot of enjoyment out of it and hopefully you know, made you laugh once in a while or remember something. Remember that furniture is made to be used and should have a good feeling about all the moving parts...the edges, the corners, the be good all of you, and be happy, your in a wonderful place and I am in a way envious of all of you because I did not have a young and generous you know friendly teacher. I had a good teacher, but I did not have the enjoyment that some of you have..."

Jim Krenov August 5, 2008

Artisan Program

Uri from Caracas Venezuela chopping the pins for the half blind dovetails in ash for his drawer making and fitting exercise. Uri treated all of us to a barbeque in celebration of Juan's appointment. This was Uri's final week at the school. His generosity and humor will be missed by us all.

Fine neatly cut and shaped dovetails by Brian from Saltspring Island British Columbia. Brian is a fine craftsman and carver. In addition to his exercises he has taken on the carving of the sign for the gallery on a fine piece of red cedar we picked up from Bradley Hunt. We are very grateful to have this fine you craftsman with us.

Hannah from England gets a pop on her stub mortise and tenon joint in eastern maple. Students are exposed to a variety of woods during the Artisan Program so that they have the opportunity to experience the different working properties. In this case with eastern maple students must get the fit just right as their is very little compression. Hannah is a fine you craftsman and has a very promising career ahead of her. Not to mention she is fun to have at the school.

Sascha from Germany completes the final cleanup of the pins of his drawer in ash last week. This past week he went on to cut some fine mortise and tenon joinery. Sascha is a perfectionist and has done some very fine work since arriving at the school.

Lisa from Bowen Island British Columbia uses a block plane from one of our student tool kits to put a very fine chamfer on the inside edge of the tails of her drawer sides. Lisa continues to take full advantage of her time here at the school utilizing all the additional hours made available to her. She also rides six kilometers each way to and from her campsite each day. She is a fine young craftsman and we have enjoyed having her at the school very much.

Grig from Romania fine tunes a small wenge edge plane. Grig lives at the school, he arrives shortly after I do each morning and is nearly always the last to leave. He said that if the benches were more comfortable he would move in. He loves the work and it shows. He is a fine craftsman who intends to return for next years craftsman program. I wish we had room this year as he really embraces the craft and the philosophy taught at our school. We have also discovered that he is a wonderful cook treating us each week to fine Romanian dishes.

Shannon from Tsawwassen British Columbia returned for her second week after taking Artisan A - Hand & Machine Tools back in May. She told me the first day that she has already put the skills taught in the first week to use in her own shop. She found and restored a very sweet hand grinder. She arrived with all of her tools ready to go and eagerly cut some of the finest first dovetails I have ever seen. She made and fit a drawer, a chisel, a bevel gauge and diagonal sticks during the week. I would like to send her a special thank you for coming in early to wash the dishes the morning after Juan Carlos & Beatriz celebration. Her partner Moraine made trip with her this time. We enjoyed having them both very much and look forward to there return next summer!

Michael from Edmonton Alberta referred to our school by George Heagle. Shown here planing his Drawer front of French walnut to fit his drawer pocket using one of our student wooden jointer planes. Thanks George, we will be happy for more students like Michael. Michael cut some fine joinery during his week here and even started to develop his own system for refining his joints. Students are encouraged to take skills taught and develop their own way of working. Our school has been very fortunate to attract such a diverse group of nice people. Our six week students have always found a special bond, this group I think perhaps even more so than past groups. What is so nice is to watch our one week students become part of the group so easily.

Michael from Maine works in the library for Thomas Moser. This gentle and patient craftsman from the beautiful eastern sea board did some very fine work last week. After tuning up his tools, he made and fit a lovely drawer in an exceptionally stringy piece of cranky ash. Made a chisel with a sweet handle in doussie, a small piece from JK through Robert. Michael and his wife will be heading to England next summer to spend a few days with David Charlesworth. As a student at the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program, one of my classmates Dirk Lange had studied with David, small world with a lot of nice people.

Jason from Montana uses a scribe from one of our student tool kits to mark the centerline for his doweling jig. Jason was referred to us by John Bowman a craftsman who had taken a class with Robert when he was teaching out east. Thanks John, it was a real treat working with and getting to know Jason. Jason managed to get through each of the joints covered this week with improvement with each joint. Jason had the luxury of a sweet ride down the hill from Up the Creek backpackers B & B on his long board each morning. He and Juan Carlos managed to get out a lunchtime on a few days on Roberts Creek Road in front of the school. A special thank you for taking the photographs during the optional Chainsaw Milling. We enjoyed very much having this fine young craftsman at the school.

Optional Activities

Hannah and Grig cut a 6/4 slab of local pecan

Brian and Uri take the final slab from our small pecan log with crotch.

Jason and Sascha make initial cut on a small half log of curly spalted maple donated by a local resident and friend of the school.

Hannah takes her turn at sharpening, holding the file at precisely the correct angle.

This past Saturday Robert guided students through the making of Chair Scrapes. A very effective tool made with simple tools and readily available materials. Many of our students take full advantage of the bonus Saturday and evening hours made available to them.

Resident Craftsman

Resident Craftsman Doug Ives uses one of his wooden smoothers to fair the curve of each leg of fir vanity stand while dry fit. I like to watch Doug work as he really embraces and practices not committing until you have to and flexible accuracy. Doug continues to contribute to the teaching without committing until he has to. This week he shared with this weeks class the joinery for his stand which include twin live tenon mortise and tenon, one of the joints demonstrated this past week.


Resident Craftsman & Teacher Juan Carlos Fernandez demonstrated the carefully fitting and shaping of a through and wedged mortise and tenon joint in eastern maple. Juan is a fine young craftsman & teacher and our students, Yvonne and I are grateful to have him. No one more than I as this will lead to time at my bench this fall.

Resident Craftsman & Teacher Robert Van Norman shared with the group the subtleties required in cutting fine joinery by hand which he enjoyed very much. We have recently installed a mirror above the teacher sharpening station to better facilitate viewing during sharpening demonstrations, to the right of the mirror we see Doug's fine trim work on the window installed this past spring.


In an effort to continually improve the school, Juan carlos organized our shorts above the vacuum press and kiln. Much of our locally harvested Arbutus is ready and we have just purchased a log of Chinese Elm from our friends at A&M. You can never have too much wood. Please be sure to remind Yvonne of this when you call.


Friends, Hannah and Uri

Grig and Hannah anticipate the pop!

All that work can be tiring.

Shop Dog Chi Chi enjoys the shade in the afternoon sun.


This week we had nearly a dozen alumni come by the school this week including Federico Mendez Castro, a regular. With the upcoming opening of our gallery in September, our students will have opportunity to showcase their work in our gallery currently under extensive renovations. A special thank you to Bruce Rigby who has been doing a number of jobs at the school and gallery. Please make plans to join us for a weekend of activities at the school and in our community.

Artisan & Craftsman for Programs 2008 -2009

We are accepting registrations for our Artisan Programs for 2009. If you would you would like more information or would like to register call Yvonne toll free at 1.877.943.9663. Alternatively registrations may be faxed to 1.604.885.9711.

We have confirmed our first-year students for the 2008-2009 Craftsman Program. The group consists of men and women from Japan, Ireland, Columbia, United States & Canada. We are currently accepting applications for the 2009-2010 Craftsman Program.

Artisan Program Schedule for 2009