Why Coastal Maine Workshops?
We are a small, intimate workshop, wonderfully located in mid-coast Maine, blocks from the harbour. We conduct a limited number of very high quality classes each year. Our instructors are chosen based on reputation as the best in the world at their craft, and just as importantly, their unsurpassed success as teachers of all ability levels, from complete novice to advanced professionals.
When it is peaceful and quiet, using the knife will not break the tranquility. Sometimes there will be other things to listen to, such as conversation, music, the singing of the birds or wind rushing through the leaves. Indeed, sometimes you will listen to the actual quietness around you when you carve.
— Wille Sundqvist, Swedish Carving Techniques (1990)
We are located in the picturesque Camden Historic District within a short walk to the village, where every amenity is available for you and your family. The small village features 12 wonderful restaurants, some with outdoor seating overlooking the Camden Harbour. There's an old-fashioned main street lined with shops; dockside walkways; opportunities for 2-hour and evening sails on a clipper ship; concerts and events in the Amphitheatre; antique shops; bookstores; deli's, galleries, parks, and an amazing library with a park featuring magnificent views of Camden Harbour.
Alexander Grabovetskiy, Russian Master Carver, who will be teaching 2 classes, made this little video with some Camden shots.
Classes will run at a relaxed pace, with ample time to explore the area. Click here for more information.
A wonderful lunch will be served each day, either home-made or from one of the best deli's in town. Coffee and tea are available all day and we will provide fresh fruit and snacks.
I am encouraging instructors to provide an evening talk and slide shows to complement the classes. An extensive woodworking book and video library is available. We'll have time to share ideas, dine together, have an informal evening slide show, a dinner at the host's 1840 home, an evening gathering with spouses at the Sea Dog Pub, that sort of thing. Nothing obligatory, but opportunities for camaraderie for those interested. We will host an evening with refreshments in the shop for families to meet. We'll provide plenty of info for spouses who want to take advantage of the many side trips and things to do in the area.
We are a small shop, not a large campus. Classes will be small with much potential for one-on-one time with instructors. The shop will be similar to what you might be working in yourself, using similar shop tools.
Whilst, we will be emphasising hand tool work, we don't shy from the use of machines where that will add efficiency. When power tools are utilized, in most cases our instructors will demonstrate how techniques can done by hand, allowing students to practice the technique. We also plan hand-tool only classes and they will be advertised as such. We welcome all skill levels; complete beginners to advanced professionals. Suggested skill level will be clearly marked in class descriptions.
The focus is on traditional 18th century American craft. We are not in competition with, but cooperate with other schools; our difference is in emphasis. We desire to preserve and foster a greater awareness and respect for our unique heritage of fine American craftsmanship while passing on the amazing skills of the early American craftsmen and women. We want to preserve original techniques, many of which, frankly, have not been improved on. We will continue to support and recommend other schools in the area when depending on what students are looking for.
We plan to provide opportunities to aid select younger students who show motivation and promise. In addition, a shop apprenticeship program is planned.
In coming years we hope to introduce other traditional craft classes such as ornamental folk painting, floor cloths, baskets, calligraphy, leather binding, paper arts, and more. Our goal is to establish a reputation for excellence in American craftsmanship while ensuring both a fun, while at the same time, first-class experience for students and teachers alike.