New Executive Director, Craig Vandall Stevens (part 2)


So here is Part 2 of our getting-to-know-Craig-better posts. When we left off, Craig was done with his studies at the College of the Redwoods under James Krenov and had moved back home to Ohio to set up his own shop.

Craig was busy with commissions and creating museum pieces, but that wasn’t all. Craig’s work spoke volumes (have you looked at his website yet? if not, what is stopping you? go! go now! ) and so he found himself with many opportunities to teach at woodworking programs across North America -- among them the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado; the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina; back at his alma mater, the College of the Redwoods in California; and the Rosewood Studio in Ontario, Canada. Craig also lived in Maine for a couple of years and taught periodically at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport.

But wait, there’s more. Do you remember in the first post where Craig found himself drawn to Japanese tools and aesthetics? Well, in 2004, Craig was invited to Japan to give a presentation on craftsmanship, and since then, he’s been back numerous times to teach workshops while at the same time absorbing more and more about Japanese woodworking techniques and Japan’s culture.

In 2015 he relocated to Reading, Pennsylvania. His shop was at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, where he worked on commissions, helped improve the woodshop and taught classes, including 12-week woodworking intensives.

While happy in Reading, when the opportunity to be the executive director of Philadelphia Furniture Workshop came up, Craig put his name in the hat. He saw it as an opportunity not just to teach (which he will continue to do and he loves) but also to shape the course our school takes moving forward.

Oh, and he got the job!

So we will end these posts as we began: welcoming Craig as our first ever executive director. Craig designed the chip carving, the andon lantern, and the kumiko courses we’ve got on the schedule for this fall, and these are the first of many new course offerings that will show up on our calendar under Craig’s leadership. Keep your eye out! Also, stop by and say hi should you find yourself wandering around Northwest Philly one day.

Here are the links for the above mentioned courses. You can sign up by calling us, emailing us, or right from each course’s webpage.

Introduction to Chip Carving

Andon: Making a Traditional Japanese Lamp

Kumiko Building Class