Thursday, April 4, 2013

From Tree to Chair: The Fine Woodworking Crew/Forestry Crew Connection

Forest Manager Shawn Swartz participated in a woodworking workshop led by professional chair-maker Elia Bizzarri in March not only to gain a new set of skills, but also to assess a major aspect of wood production at Warren Wilson College. Much of the hardwood that is milled by the forestry crew winds up at the fine woodworking crew's shop, where it is crafted into beautiful pieces of furniture or musical instruments.

Making a Windsor Chair is an arduous process that begins with a log and finishes with a handmade piece of furniture. It takes an in-depth knowledge of the nature of wood fibers, grain, and growth patterns to be able to make them well. This principle applies to much of fine woodworking crew's projects.

The milling techniques the forestry crew uses are currently aimed to produce lumber of high structural quality with maximum efficiency. Shawn partook in the Windsor Chair Workshop in order to better understand the woodworking process so that forestry crew can tailor the milling process to fit the fine woodworking crew's needs.

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