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Design to Fabrication | Kelly Parker

Mar 27, 2023 - Mar 31, 2023 | 9:00 - 4:00 $890.00 – $1,545.00
Design sketch Kelly parker
Kelly Parker
Kelly Parker, born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1967, is a designer and maker of contemporary studio furniture and sculpture.
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This unique three-part course will teach you how to design and build your own piece of furniture under the guidance of professional woodworkers using a sequenced methodology.   

The course comprises 3 classes:

  1. Design, Ideation, and Modeling (in person at the School) March 27 – 31
  2. Concept Development (remote coaching) April – July
  3. Prototyping, Fabrication (in person at the School) July 16 – 22

Note:  Class one may be taken as a solo class and is open to all skill levels.

Certificate students should plan on taking all three phases.

Class One – Design Ideation and Modeling

If you want to design and build your own furniture, you need both design techniques and practical skills.  This class focuses on equipping you with both.

Centred around a series of exercises based on design briefs that one might get from a client or perhaps a family member, you will learn to evaluate scale, form, and function as you design several furniture pieces.

The final exercise will be to design a piece of furniture of your choosing, incorporating all the skills you have learned in the earlier exercises.

The key learning points of this class include the following:

    • Design ideation & sources of inspiration
    • Sketching and drawing techniques
    • Intro to design and drawing tools: 
      • French curves, drawing bows, T-square, compass, adjustable triangle
    • Quarter-scale modelling:
      • Form exploration in MDF, cardboard, rigid foam, foam core
      • Photographing models
    • Plan & elevation construction drawings 
    • Manual drawings by hand
    • Computer drawings (Sketch Up Pending Confirmation)
    • Exploration of materials, hardware, embellishment, and finishes
    • Leveraging cut lists, learning how to price, evaluating build time 

We encourage you to challenge yourself for this project!

Class Two – Concept Development (Only for students taking phase three)

Once you have completed class one,  there is a 10-week window during which you will work remotely with your instructor to refine your design from the final exercise and work on your build plan for class 3.

We recommend that your project should be something that challenges you but is relatively small in scale to facilitate transportation and build timeframes.   Suggestions of project types are:

  • Small tables
  • Small non-drawered chests (e.g. Hope Chest, Blanket chests)
  • Small case piece
  • Small computer desk  

We are working on design detail rather than scale.

During this time, you will:

  • Work through the ideation process
  • Create models which you will bring to class
  • Develop preliminary draft construction drawings
  • Develop cut list for the mock-up
  • Identify joinery requirements
  • Identify hardware requirements (functional & aesthetic)
  • Explore embellishment concepts and impacts
  • Determine any colour and finishing plans  
  • Evaluate lumber species that support the design concept
  • Identify appropriate construction techniques (veneering, bent lam, resawing etc.)
  • Identify construction/knowledge grey areas

Individual advisory meetings will be held online to help you continue the project’s development in anticipation of Phase 3.  These are one on one sessions with your instructor.

Class Three- Prototyping, Early Fabrication

Bringing it all together.  

In this final class, you will begin to build your project under the guidance of professional woodworkers to get as far as time allows.

Each student will be working on their own project but anticipate being able to view demos on a variety of topics, such as:

  • Creating full-sized mockup
  • Developing construction drawings
  • Problem-solving the build
  • Building forms & jigs
  • Developing the cut list 
  • Selective milling (resawing, veneer prep etc.) & material preparation
  • Bent Lamination form creation and vacuum bagging
  • Speciality hardware installation processes

Your goal in this class is to get a significant head start on the fabrication of your project.  Each student project will be different, but we want you to leave the class with the “end in sight”.


Your instructor will continue to provide online coaching for an additional five weeks for the class.

To take this final class, you must have taken Phase one and Phase two, as the class will focus on earlier phases’ work.

Having experience with power tools, hand tools, and some project builds is important- this is not a beginner class.  

Class Time

Workshop Days:     Monday to Friday
Instruction Time:    9:00am – 4:00pm
School Opens:.      8:30am – 5pm

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Tuition & Materials:


See Refund Policy Here

Class One Only

All Three classes

$890.00Add to cart

$1,545.00Add to cart


Mar 27, 2023 @ 9:00 am
Mar 31, 2023 @ 4:00 pm
$890.00 – $1,545.00
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