Saturday, July 20, 2019

New October Classes at Marc Adams

I just received the notice from Christopher Schwartz that Marc Adams' book, "The Difference Makers," is ready to ship.  I am excited  to see it and to get a chance to read about all the instructors that Marc decided to include in his book.  Over the past quarter century, Marc has worked every day to build the largest and most comprehensive woodworking trade school in the country.  He has engaged hundreds of professional artisans to teach classes, and has always provided both the teacher and the students with the support and encouragement needed to flourish.

I don't remember exactly, but it was about 10 years ago when I first started teaching there.  Marc built 8 French chevalets and each year I return for a couple weeks to teach students about traditional French marquetry.  I also have included some weekend classes, like French polishing, veneering a column, protein glues, and other topics.

For this October, I decided to offer some completely new classes on the weekends, which I hope will find interested students.  If you think you might want to meet me, now is the time to contact MASW and register for these classes.  Just go to MASW

Since I am one of the instructors Marc included in his new book, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss my career and the lessons I have learned about making a living as a wood worker in America.  Therefore, the first class I will teach this year is on Saturday, October 19 and it is called "The Business of Woodworking by Hand: 50 Years of Success with Patrick Edwards."  In this one day class I will offer detailed information about every aspect of my business, and how I have managed to make a good living working with wood, using only hand tools and traditional methods.  The key word for this class is "diverse income streams."  I will focus on how to price your work, where to find clients, managing your time, and cost effective promotion.

The next day, Sunday October 20, I will offer a class on a completely different topic: Antique furniture locks and keys.  This may be the first time a class on this topic has been offered at MASW.  I will discuss the evolution of furniture locks and keys, and how to repair them.  How to fit a missing key to a lock, as well as how to "break in" to furniture which has been locked and the key lost.

During the entire week of October 21-25 I will be teaching the French marquetry class using the traditional "chevalet de marqueterie."  This class is limited to 8 students, and you do not need any prior experience to be able to create wonderful marquetry pictures.  I will teach different methods, such as Boulle, Painting in Wood, and the Classic Method.  I studied at ecole Boulle, in Paris, under Dr. Pierre Ramond, and his book, "Marquetry" is the best textbook in the English language on the subject.  You can find a copy online, using book search engines.

My next class is on Saturday, October 26, and is a simplified variation of the traditional French polish class.  However, instead of all the trouble and fuss required to make a high gloss French polish, this class will focus on what I consider the most common method of finishing using shellac.  Nearly everything I have built or refinished over the years is just finished with brushed shellac, rubbed out with a paste wax.  It produces a nice semi gloss polish which is non toxic and easy to repair.  All you will need is a good brush, some shellac and alcohol.  There are tricks to rubbing out with a paste wax which I will demonstrate.  This is a one day demonstration lecture so all you need to do is watch and learn.

The following day, Sunday October 27, I will teach a one day class on traditional upholstery.  This will include demonstration and instruction on how to stretch jute webbing, tie springs, tack materials, and work with curled horsehair and cotton.  This class will provide you with the basics needed to make your upholstery foundation strong and comfortable.  Note that there will be no use of staples or synthetic materials, like foam.  This type is instruction is rare these days, and I think you will find it very informative.

Just before I travel to Indianapolis to teach at Marc's school, I will offer a one week class here at my workshop, the American School of French Marquetry, in San Diego.  We already have two students registered, and the class is limited to 6.   If you would like personal instruction on the traditional techniques I learned in Paris, now is the time to contact us and reserve a place.

Here is the link:American School of French Marquetry

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


If you approve this posting, I have some brand new copies of Pierre Ramond's "Marquetry", still in their original heat shrink wrappers. I am selling these on Amazon and eBay, but I will reduce the price to $99 plus media rate shipping to anyone who reads your great blog and contacts me directly at I would accept PayPal or checks.

Mike Mason