Daniel Mack

Rustic Furnishings


March 7-11 2011   

Rustic Bodgering                                           6 people only   


For these five days, Dan worked with six people to make rustic furniture and objects in the tradition of the "bodger"...that woodland craftsperson who makes do with what's at hand. Bodgers were the most marginal and reclusive of the rural craftspeople, often living in the remotest parts of the area and supplying materials to the more formal tradesmen.  Bodgers were not vexed by the "rules" of construction. Bodgers knew where to find wood grown in shapes that woodworkeras would spend hours fashioning in a shop.  They knew what hedgerow had a good selection of naturally grown right angled pieces of wood, or where there was a area of naturally curved trees.

We made benches, tables, shelves, some chairs.  We'll play with a few different kinds of bark and explore the advantages and drawbacks of driftwood building. We'll use the traditional shave horse and drawknife as well as power carvers and power chisels.  We'll figure out when and why to use mortise and tenon construction as well as face joining.   We'll visit a few local places to see how Dan's work has aged and weathered.... and we'll talk about the business of Rustic.

Mike Ashton, a British gardner and bodger, joined the course. Take a look at the group he belongs to.  Mike did Qi Gong with Gar Wong and Ron Gee; a tutorial on Felting with Gar; a visit to Pacem in Terris and a road trip to visit Windsor chairmaker Dave Sawyer in Vermont.

Alethea Baldwin from Australia was here: " from north east Victoria, Australia.  Have recently bought a bush block, done a pre-apprenticeship course in joinery for the sake of learning about woodwork and being able to fix things in my home. "  Althea explored an ikebana-like arrangement of wood and natural materials  creating forms of altars.  Alethea, Mike and I spent a great part of a day at the Hudson River in Newburgh collecting driftwood and watching the ice float up and down the tidal Hudson.  A really good buffet lunch at Citrus in New Windsor.  We visited a house on Mt Peter that Dan did interior and exterior work on.

Kathy Guarino and landscape designer David Hughes joined us for a few of those days to practice making little chairs. Kathy designed an built a very interestering table from barn beam, forked log and a finished oak top. Several other interested[people visited.

Daniel Mack has been working with sticks, saplings, logs, bark and driftwood for 25 years to make furniture, architectural work, garden structures and small, simple objects. He has written five books on the techniques and attitudes of working rustic. He has learned about the 'language' of natural materials which he shares in this workshop, "Rustic is really a way of saying something about beauty, nature, longing and your place in the world. It's much more than just furniture".

5 days $350     any single day for $125

Contact Dan for a list of places to stay in the Warwick area