What can you gain from a Design Workshop?

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Design workshops are a horse of a different color. The focus isn’t on a single project, but instead on every project you build going forward. OK – if you must have a clear idea of a project before signing on, my design workshops project involves a bit of demolition, setting a foundation, erecting walls, staircases, installing windows, running miles of new wiring, and it all takes place inside your head. Oh, and we accomplish all of this with a pair of dividers, a stick, and a pencil.

Students run the gamut from beginning woodworkers, to professional carpenters, graphic designers, engineers, free thinking artistic spirits, to the average Joe who just wants to take his or her work to another level.

Some common themes resonate with all.  Everyone senses when a design looks right, but most can’t go much past just a vague feeling.  After a workshop, that inner sense is decidedly stronger and students can begin to pinpoint why a design works or fails. Much of this progress results from getting a firm grip on what you already know intuitively.

That simmering doubt surrounding proportions evaporates. Yet, this is not about recipes or formulas. Students get the opportunity play and experiment with proportions, much like learning how spices combine to create depth of flavor in a good chili.  This quickly leads to the ability to unpack proportions in the wild. Great buildings, furniture, and works of art reveal their secrets and become a practical source of inspiration.

Most notice a marked improvement in the designs coming off their pencil by day two, and the ability to execute and self critique takes a dramatic step forward. Treat yourself to a weekend in 2015 that will change every aspect of your woodworking by attending a By Hand & Eye Design Workshop. Here’s a list of dates and locations for the coming year.

January 24 – 25, 2015  Hudson Ohio,     R. Grell Fine Woodworking Workshops

February 20 -22  Phoenix, Southwest School of Woodworking

August 8 – 9 Warren Maine, Lie-Nielsen Toolworks

Oct 17 – 18, Franklin IN, Marc Adams 


George R. Walker

About walkerg

Woodworker and writer
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8 Responses to What can you gain from a Design Workshop?

  1. ctregan says:

    Where do i sign up?

  2. ctregan says:

    I have a little hand and eye project on my blog; click the blue letters to see box elder stool. Thanks.

  3. Andy Lockhart says:

    I was able to attend one of these workshops last March at the Port Townsend School in Washington. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it. I had read George’s book prior, and the workshop clarified a few issues that I hadn’t quite grasped. Great way to spend a week (away from a cold Canadian winter)…

  4. Hey George, do you think you’ll be offering this class again at Richard Grell’s? I can’t do the weekend of the class and I’ve been looking forward to this since you teased it about a year ago. I know it’s hard to tell but just getting a sense would be appreciated.

    Thanks for all you do.


    • walkerg says:


      Since I live in NE Ohio, I’d like to put together additional workshops at Grell’s School. It’s a great facility and Hudson has a lot to offer with the nearby Cuyahoga National Park. Hoping to put together another workshop in early fall if schedules allow. Look forward to meeting you.


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