A Weekend at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking

This last weekend we (myself and the Port Townsend School of Woodworking) invited a few of our friends to attend a trail run of my new workshop – Greene and Greene Details II.
(With a Thanks to Tim Celeski – you can view 360-degree images of the class – here and another image again here ) In attendance were:George Knutson( who assists me), Gary Hall (grandson of Peter Hall) , Clay Curtiss, Bob Hadley, Bob Anderson, Tim Celeski (who took the 360-degree images), John Markworth (co-owner of the school), Tom Moore (alias Tom SoCal),Tom Casper (editor of American Woodworker and Woodwork magazines), Josh Green, Michael Hamilton and David Radkha. Jim Tolpin (author and co owner of the school) popped in and out and also joined several of us for dinner at the Sirens on Saturday night.
After setting up for the class on Friday, Gary Hall, Bob Hadley and I went on an Architectural history adventure – in the pursuit of a carved panel in the Jefferson County Courthouse (located in uptown Port Townsend). The carving in question may have been carved by John Hall (Gary’s great uncle) as mentioned in Randell Makinson’s book Greene and Greene: Furniture and Related Designs. I had tried several times in the past to locate any carving whatsoever, but to no avail. Apparently I was not the only person looking though – there is a carving now pictured in the courthouses’ pamphlet. It is located in one of the courtrooms directly behind and slightly above where the judge sits. Too bad we can’t have a look at the backside to see if it was signed!
Gary Hall continued his Architectural/ Family History adventure Saturday with a visit to a house that has a magnificent spiral stairway built at the time his grandfather, Peter Hall (known as a master stair builder), was in PT. Neither the carving nor the spiral stairway can be confirmed as being made by John or Peter Hall but it is entirely possible given the timeframe and that these were their specialties.
Getting back to the class: We all gathered Saturday morning with what was probably a bit slower start since there was a bit of catching up among friends. We finished up pretty much where I thought we would be at the end of Saturday. Sunday we took a break at noon for brunch at the Commons, which is only a very short distance from the school. We finished up the day around 3 o’clock and said goodbye to our old friends and some newly acquired friends as well.
Port Townsend is a wonderful and rare place. It is sort of an artist community that has not lost its identity. Franchises are not permitted in the downtown business district. The school itself is located in Fort Warden State Park on beautiful grounds near the water among many historic buildings. I enjoy teaching there not just because of the setting, but also because it’s an excuse to visit my Uncle Aubrey and Aunt Margot who live there.
I will be leaving Friday to teach the Details II workshop at William Ng’s School of Fine woodworking in Anaheim. The workshop is sold out but I believe there is still room in the 6-day arched aurora nightstand class.
I will return to PT in April and then again in July to teach both Details I and Details II. Both of these dates are sold out but we may add a couple of dates in the fall – stay tuned!
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