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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Francis Brown

Take the poll: What would you like?

We are getting ready to post our 2021 schedule of woodworking and carving classes at the Maine Coast Workshop. I've got a world class line up of instructors but it remains open what they could potentially teach. We'll offer classes from May to October at the beautiful seaside village of Camden, Maine. One of the best things about taking a class is the wonderful camaraderie that quickly develops. We all learn from each other as well as from the teacher! I'm an award winning furniture maker and carver as well ( and I'm looking forward to learning from these masters.

Would you mind giving me your opinions and views regarding what you'd like to see and learn?

Not sure if this can be filled out here, or if you need to respond to my email:

There's probably a way to make this poll more user friendly, but I'm not sure how to do that. So thanks so much for going to the trouble to respond via my email or a phone call, if necessary.



Firstly, what class length? ____________

What time of week? Weekends? ___________

What time of year is best for you? ___________

Here's who's teaching (so far) with tentative class dates:

  1. Alexander Grabovetskiy, Florida May 24-28, 2021

Alex can teach a beginner class or a more advanced classical carving class. What would you prefer? Alex is a master teacher and has won every major award world-wide for his carving. He can also accommodate beginners as well as more advanced carvers in the same class, working on different projects and techniques.

2. Frank Strazza - Texas June 14-18, 2021

Chris Schwarz calls Texas craftsman, Frank Strazza, the finest furniture maker currently working. Frank is offering a 5 or 6 day marquetry and inlay class, including letter inlay. Students will learn a wide range of skills going beyond these topics.

Is this of interest?

3. Mary May - master carver from Charleston, SC. July 12- 16, 2021 (Following the Lie-Nielson open house weekend - 10 minutes from our shop).

Mary has a new book out which exhaustively covers acanthus carving. Mary has offered a first time class going into great depth carving the acanthus motif. Students should be able to tackle almost any carving after this class.

As all my classes, I need a minimum of 5 students to make this a go. So let me know if you're interested.

4. Alf Sharp - Tennessee. Oct. 4-9, 2021

Winner of every award out there for period furniture, Sharp comes in from Tennessee. Alf is a master carver and has taught all both carving and furniture making classes all over the world. He could do a project class: Options include a tilt-top tea table, or a Queen Anne chair. He could teach a strictly carving class - classical features for furniture including shells, fans, ball & claw, finials, etc.

What would you like to see?

5. Ray Journigan - VA. Sept. 13-18, 2021

VA Beach. Ray is also an award winning furniture maker and carver. He also could teach either a strictly carving class, or a project class. Options for projects include the iconic John Elliot Phila. Chippendale stool, with ball and claw or trifid feet, shell knee carvings, and upholstered seat. Another option is the traditional Newport sconce which features gooseneck molding, carved fan, and lots of hand joinery (see pics on this Maine Coast Workshop site & photo to right). Lastly Ray could offer a class carving traditional furniture elements similar to Alf Sharp above.

6. Matt Kenney - August 9-14, 2021

Matt's recent book features lots of Kumiko designs and contemporary boxes in his inimitable style. I chose my favourite piece in that book: a fabulous tea cabinet (photo above). Matt said he could do it in a 6 day class if students worked hard and steady (it's a lot to get done). This will be an awesome experience and students will learn a ton of new techniques.

7. Shawn Murphy - Windsor chairmaker. Lebanon, Connecticut. Potential class......Date TBD

Shawn has a world wide following and is considered one of the finest modern chairmakers. Shawn offers a 6 day class making a complete windsor chair from a log! Again, the amount of skills learned will be incredible. Plus you get to take home a truly hand made windsor!

8. Marty Leenhouts - Minnesota chip carver. June 19-21, 2021 tentative date.

Marty is probably the premier chip carver in the world today. He is also a master teacher and loves to teach. His YouTube channel gets millions of views. He can teach a 2, 3, or 4 day class. Would you prefer a weekend, a 3 day, or a 4 day class?

Thanks to everyone for your valuable feedback. Also give me some indication of the likelihood that you would come to Camden to take a class. I need to balance the best quality teachers and makers in the world with classes and times that will attract students. So your feedback is really important and much appreciated.

Feel free to email ( or call....434-907-5427

-Wm. Francis Brown

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