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ACBA to Offer One-Week Intensive Public Courses in Iron, Stained Glass, Wood Carving, and Furniture



Starting in January 2018 the American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) will offer five one-week intensive courses to the public in ironsmith craft, wood carving, furniture restoration, furniture design and stained glass.  The winter courses are intended for beginners seeking to increase or deepen their knowledge of the built environment. 

Richard Guthrie, ACBA Professor of Blacksmithing and a Colonial Williamsburg historic blacksmithing expert, will teach “Historic Ironsmith Craft.” Students will learn about 18th and 19th century ironsmith craft through hands-on instruction at the forge, demonstrations, lectures and tours of historic Charleston installations.

Employing skills that have been used for centuries, European-trained woodcarver Mary May will lead the “Decorative Wood Carving for Historic Interiors” course, in which she will instruct students in the techniques of traditional relief carving, including such basics as how to carve in the correct grain direction,  sharpen tools, and carve traditional designs into shallow relief.  In this five-day class, May will also walk students through a range of skill techniques, tool safety and several complete projects.

Restoration expert Roderick Thompson of Santo Spirito Furniture Restoration in New York will teach “Furniture Restoration and Maintenance.”  Trained in Florence, Italy, Thompson will teach techniques for restoring and/or maintaining historic/heirloom furniture for everyday use.  Participants will be encouraged to bring a furniture item to class for condition evaluation and hands-on restoration.  Class time will include demonstrations and lectures, as well as hands-on instruction.

Charlie Moore of BrassApple Furniture and ACBA Professor of Carpentry will teach class participants how to quickly sketch furniture ideas, turn them into scale drawings and then into easy scale models in his class, “Furniture Design, Sketch to Scale Model.”  With model in hand, students will be able to work out joinery, tweak designs, and even show off their ideas prior to full-scale production.

“Stained Glass Design & Construction” will be taught by Mike Hiester, expert stained glass craftsman and owner of Blue Heron Glass.  Hiester will teach the basics of stained glass design and construction techniques. Instruction will include the design and construction of a 24” x 36” panel.

Each class meets for one week (Monday – Friday) for six hours each day. The typical daily class hours will be from 9 a.m. – noon and 1 – 4 p.m. Classes will run during one of two Sessions: Session 1 runs from Jan. 8 – 12, and Session 2 from Jan. 15 – 19.

In keeping with ACBA’s emphasis on low faculty/student ratio, class capacity is limited.  For more information, tuition fees and to register, visit ACBA’s website at, call the College at 843-577-5245, or stop by the American College at 649 Meeting St.
The American College of the Building Arts is the only school in the United States dedicated to educating and training artisans in the traditional building arts to foster exceptional craftsmanship and encourage the preservation, enrichment, and understanding of the world’s architectural heritage through a liberal arts education.
This is an unedited press release
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