Ray Journigan


Ray will be teaching 3 classes:

One-day Sharpening class Sept. 21, 2020    $200

    All skill levels welcome

Make a Traditional Sconce

5-days: Sept. 22-26, 2020         $950 + $100 materials  Intermediate/Advanced class


Make the iconic

John Elliot style Chippendale  foot-stool

6 days:  Sept. 28-Oct 3, 2020


Bring your own wood - see cut list

  Intermediate/Advanced class

Traditional Newport Candle Sconce  Sept 22-26, 2020 












  This beautiful project packs in a lot of techniques in a delightful 18th century piece: Precision joinery, Gooseneck molding, Carving traditional elements.

This is a project students have been asking for, carving! Don’t let the small size of this Newport style candle sconce fool you. There is a lot of work in this future heirloom. Come lean to execute features commonly found in many period “Newport” pieces. This class is designed to require little investment in
materials so we can concentrate our efforts on advancing your skills in carving. Students will get the chance to carve two iconic Newport concave shells that are found on period desks, clocks, highboys, and dressing tables by the Goddards and Townsends during the 18th Century. Then the carving continues with the gooseneck moldings. We shape the shelf to resemble the profile matching seats found on corner chairs and dovetail it to the sides. If you want to gain some confidence in your carving, you don’t want to miss this one. The skills learned will enable you to expand your horizons on designing future project! As with all of Rays carving classes, tool selection, sharpening, and care will be discussed as well as finishing
techniques that will maximize the effects of your newly carved piece.


  We do all the joint work, mortise and tenons, rabbet and dado, and dovetail the bottom shelf.  We cut the glass window for both sides . Typically students will carve one side of the sconce including one Newport shell and one gooseneck molding.  This provides the model to carve the other Newport shell and gooseneck molding at home to complete the project.  Finish options and techniques are discussed in depth.


   Mahogany will be provided for this project and a materials fee added.  If you choose a different wood  you can provide your own based on the cut list below.  Just let us know.

Make a John Elliott Philadelphia style Chippendale Stool  Sept 28-Oct 30, 2020


The original of this reproduction stool, circa 1750-1760, is attributed to John Elliott, Sr., a noted Philadelphia cabinetmaker. This stool features shell carving on the apron and beautifully sculpted cabriole legs with shell carving at the knees terminating in ball and claw feet. The original reproduction is in the Colonial Williamsburg Collection. Also, in the Winterthur Museum Collection is a very rare set of four original antique stools made by the Philadelphia cabinetmaker, John Elliott, Sr., for Charles Norris.

A foot stool is a great way to gain skills using your hand tools. This useful piece of furniture can  be used to rest the feet after a long day or as a sitting stool for that last arriving guest. And the “John Elliot” footstool is one of the finest examples made in the 18 th century. There is a lot a skills in this little project. After surfacing our materials with a hand plane, Ray will demonstrate different methods of laying out and cutting mortise and tenon joints by hand using tools such as a mortise gauge, tenon saw, mortise chisel, bench chisel, shoulder plane and router plane. Next, he will demonstrate cutting and shaping cabriole legs using spokeshaves, rasps, files, and card scrapers. Then Ray will demonstrate an uncomplicated way to layout and carve a Philadelphia style ball and claw foot. And if that wasn’t enough, Ray will teach you how to layout and carve scallop shells both in the round, like those found on the knees of each leg, and as an applique which is placed on the aprons. This class is designed so you can take your woodworking skills to the next level without having to empty your wallet for materials. The minimum expectation is to complete al of the joinery and one complete leg with a shell and either ball and claw or trifid style foot.  Depending on skill level you may get much further. Other subject that will be discussed include tool sharpening, small shop organization for efficiency, and finishing techniques just to name a few!


  Traditional and modern upholstery methods will be discussed.  Students will complete the slip seat frame in class.  Ray will discuss the  upholstery methods they can choose from: i.e tacks vs. staples, horse hair vs. foam, etc.  Finish options and techniques are discussed in depth.

Students may bring their own wood for this project based on the cut list below.  We are also arranging potential "student packs" with the wood components milled to rough size (stay tuned for that). Final dimensioning will be done in class. Mahogany is recommended but walnut, cherry, and maple are also possible.  Anyone wishing to mail their wood may do so:

    Maine Coast Workshop

       27 High St.,

       Camden, ME  04843

From Ray's Cartouche Award Announcement:


"The Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM)  is pleased to announce that James R. (Ray) Journigan, Sr. is the 2018 Cartouche Award Recipient.  The Cartouche is awarded to a craftsperson who has demonstrated a lifetime of making exceptional furniture in period style.  The work should be of excellent quality and provide a broad range of examples and styles and be an extensive number of pieces.  Part of the consideration for this award is the amount of  contributions to the craft through writing, teaching and mentoring the recipient has made.

More than 40 years ago, starting at the of age 14, Ray’s passion for woodworking and furniture making was already evident and has grown more intense as the years have passed. Mostly self taught, Ray is none the less very quick to praise those who have inspired and taught him along the way, including his father, a master finish carpenter; Chuck Lammers, his shop class teacher; Ben Hobbs, 2011 Cartouche Award recipient; and Pierre Restelli, a master carver from Portsmouth, VA.

Between 1988 and 2013, Ray was pursuing two careers, simultaneously. He served his city as a fireman and his state and country as part of various FEMA teams. When not on duty, he created more than 200 pieces of museum quality period furniture, for his own use and on commission.

From 1999 until 2003 Ray operated The Colonial Craftsman Workshop, Williamsburg, VA, balancing family, furniture commissions, working for the Virginia Beach Fire Department/FEMA, and teaching.
Late in 2003 Ray began to operate from his shop at home in Virginia Beach. In 2010 he began to teach carving to individuals in his shop, while still doing custom orders, and speaking about period furniture to interested groups in his shop and other venues.

Today he produces furniture and teaches out of his shop in Virginia Beach, VA.

Ray’s work has been featured in various newspapers and in local and national magazines.  He has taught fellow furniture makers through out Virginia for 30 years and is tireless in his efforts to increase awareness and appreciation of American period furniture, determined to keep the craft alive into the next generation.


Some of the classes Ray has taught include the following:

Washington Woodworkers Guild, Springfield, VA - Carving a Piecrust Table, 1995
Woodcraft, Vienna, VA - Layout and Carving Newport Shells, 1995
Tidewater Woodworkers Guild, Virginia Beach, VA
Four poster bed construction, 1995
Piecrust table carving & construction, 2005
Pencil post bed construction with hand tools, 2012
Woodcraft, Virginia Beach, VA, various classes from 2013-2017, including the following:
Chair Making Carving a piecrust serving tray
Ball & Claw Feet Veneer & Inlay
Newport Shells Carving Acanthus Leaves
Carving 101 Connecticut Shells
Dovetails Hand Plane Types & Uses
Pencil Post Bed Scallop Shells
Chippendale Footstool Advanced Carving
SAPFM Tidewater Chapter, VA
Carving Flame Finials & Gooseneck Molding, April, 2014 (inaugural meeting of chapter)
Carving tools/setup/tricks and Carving Gadrooning, April, 2017

Community Outreach & Awareness
Various informal demonstrations & lectures from 1993 to present:
Adam Throughgood House, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA - traditional furniture, 1993
The Hermitage Museum, Virginia Beach, VA - early treadle lathes, 1995
Upper Wolfsnare House, Virginia Beach, VA - 18th century furniture, 1998
The Vintage Ladies Antiques Study Group, Williamsburg, VA - period furniture styles, 2003
Francis Land House, Virginia Beach, VA - use of period hand tools, 2004
St. Paul’s Episcopal, Norfolk, VA - 18th century furniture types & construction, 2006
Loudon County Museum, Leesburg, VA - construction of a four poster bed, 2010
Old Donation Episcopal, Virginia Beach, VA - period furniture making, 2013
Historical Society, Virginia Beach, VA - southern period furniture, 2013
Articles have appeared in these publications, among others:
The Virginia Pilot, Feb. 2, 1996
The Virginia Gazette, July 14, 1999
The Clipper, Mar. 24, 2006
The Virginia Pilot, June 16, 2013
Distinction Magazine, fall 2017 edition






















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