Welcome to the Florida School of Woodwork
AN OPPORTUNITY TO CRAFT…
In a time when many are seeking fresh ways of problem-solving, seeing, and communicating differently, the School of Woodwork offers an opportunity for people of all skill levels to spend a weekend, a week or several immersed in the craft of designing and making furniture, wood carvings and woodturning on the lathe.
For some, it is the opportunity to study with leading, nationally-recognized makers who travel to the School to teach specific workshops and serve as the School’s foundation in ensuring the highest quality of innovative instruction.
For others, it is the exceptional, well-equipped workshops where students can work safely and confidently in a professional-level environment.
However, for many, it is the daily engagement among a diverse group of people, coming together to learn and work.
WHERE THINKING AND DOING COME TOGETHER…
The heart of our mission is to nurture and sustain this creative spirit of woodworking craftsmanship. We do this by proving the best possible education and environment for people who want to engage in soul satisfying crafts. A place where “thinking” and “doing” come together.
On behalf of all of us at the School who wake up each day thinking about enriching lives through art, I invite you to take the opportunity to experience Florida School of Woodwork.
Executive Director Kate Swann founded the program in 2004 to meet the requests of local aspiring woodworkers. The School began as a one on one program in a small 600 square foot shop under the auspices of Franklin St Fine Woodwork. The school then moved to its present location in 2010.
Over the years, student enrollment and class offerings have steadily increased and today the School offers year-round classes. Students come from across the country and from abroad to learn a broad array of woodworking topics.
Our students are hobbyist, amateur, and professional woodworkers with diverse backgrounds who come to study woodworking traditions combined with modern technology. We encourage students to design their own projects and build to their aesthetic as they develop their skills and competencies.
Our instructors are professional woodworkers with exceptional technical expertise and patient, open teaching skills. We seek out teachers who have demonstrated significant design and technical skills in their own body of work. Our instructors come from across the United States, England, Japan and Canada.
The Florida School of Woodwork is located on the edge of downtown Tampa in a completely renovated building from the 1920’s that is on the national historic register. When we did the renovation, we were careful to keep the character of the building and you’ll find unique and delightful elements of this during your time here. You won’t be working a windowless, metal building, you’ll be working in a light-filled, comfortable space with character and history. We keep our classes small so there is lots of interaction with the instructor, space for you to work, and the opportunity to enjoy your time. You won’t be lost in a crowd.
The School is incredibly well equipped with tools from a broad array of manufacturers. For example, we have a 6″ Ryobi jointer, an 8″ Grizzly jointer, and a 14″ Minimax jointer. This not only brings great utility and flexibility to the workshop but also allows the student to experience the performance of these machines at different price points and sizes. Every machine is connected to a dust collection system, and there are air filters cleaning the particulate to keep the workshop healthy and clean.
Each student has a:
Curated hand tool kit on the wall next to their bench,
Festool sander and vac system.
Comfy stool with a padded swivel seat and back
There are two main workshops, the back studio is predominately a bench room and a turning studio when needed, and the main studio houses both the equipment and more student work areas. Both studios are equipped with Audio Visual – Large screen TVs, Camera projection, etc. There is also an outside courtyard that we use for a portion of the year. It provides a place to relax, eat lunches or do things that are better done outside, it is rather unkindly referred to as “The Pit”.
The best quality, North American Hardwoods are kept on hand and the majority of classes will include lumber. This means that you don’t have slog boards on a plane or load your car up, and unless milling is part of the learning experience it will be premilled for you and ready on arrival. We are woodworkers at heart and care deeply about the quality of lumber and milling.
We invite you to come and spend some time with us. It is a singular experience and your learning and growth as a woodworker is important to us.
We look forward to meeting you.
Kate Swann, Dir.