WOODWORKING/FURNITURE DESIGN

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Major emphasis allows the student to work toward acquiring control of the physical and visual constructs of a given concept such that the desired content is communicated.

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The Woodworking Major at NMU

The School of Art and Design offers four-year B.S., B.A. and B.F.A. degrees in Woodworking. Major emphasis allows the student to work toward acquiring control of the physical and visual constructs of a given concept such that the desired content is communicated. Ideations are developed through drawings and/or models, and then progress to full-size working pieces. If one is interested in production work, the necessary jigs, fixtures, etc., are also designed and built. Woodworking and furniture design majors usually concentrate on woodworking process, although students are encouraged to become familiar with the adjacent foundry and smithing facilities. The product design major requires a broad background of classes including Sculpture, Ceramics, Metals, and Woodworking.

Physical information concerning media and tools is presented in such a way that the student is encouraged to solve a particular problem in a creative, inventive manner as opposed to being limited by a finite group of accepted techniques.

The beginning classes for woodworking and furniture design majors are AD 124 Woodworking: Joinery and Greenwood (fall semester), and AD 224 Woodworking: Turning and Bending (winter semester). Product design majors may start with a number of 100 level studio courses. Advance placement is possible depending on past experience.

Wood Promo Video

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Woodworking Students Solve Problems with Invention and Technique

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Woodworking Studio

The Woodworking facility provides contemporary tools and equipment for the areas of ceramics, furniture design, jewelry, metalsmithing, blacksmithing, product design, sculpture, and woodworking. A well equipped wood shop, spray booth area, wood turning area, and extensive dust collection system highlight the woodworking studio. Production of large work is better facilitated by convenient ground floor access. The woodworking studio certainly ranks as one of the finest facilities in the country.

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Design Studio
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Computer Controlled Router
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The Woodworking Studio Currently Ranks as One of the Best in the Country

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Woodworking Faculty

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Jason Schneider

Assistant Professor
BFA William Patterson University
MFA San Diego State University

Jason Schneider is an Assistant Professor of Woodworking and Furniture Design at Northern Michigan University. He received his MFA in Furniture Design from San Diego State University (2005) where he studied with Wendy Maruyama. Jason later moved to Snowmass Village, Colorado to run the woodshop at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. While in this ten year position, Jason had the opportunity to work closely with furniture makers and woodturners such as Sam Maloof, Wendell Castle, David Ellsworth, Wendy Maryama, Gail Fredell, Michael Hurwitz, Thomas Hucker, Michael Fortune, Stephen Hogbin, Merryll Saylan, and many more. Jason's work resides in Studio Furniture movement, creating one of a kind pieces of furniture for commission and exhibition. His current body of furniture and turned sculpture explores both texture and form through the use of corrugated cardboard. He has exhibited his work extensively throughout the United States, including SOFA Chicago, the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, ICFF in New York, and the Center for Art and Wood in Philadelphia, PA. He was the 2015 Windgate Artist in Residence at SUNY Purchase College in New York, and a 2017 International Turning Exchange Fellow at the Center for Art in Wood. Jason continues to lecture and demonstrate his unique process of working with corrugated cardboard for organizations such as Google, the Furniture Society, the American Association of Woodturners, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Penland School of Crafts, and many universities and woodworking clubs throughout the country.


EMAIL

jasschne@nmu.edu

WEBSITE

www.jasonschneiderfurniture.com
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Jason Schneider
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Jason Schneider
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Woodworking Courses

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AD 124 Woodworking: Joinery and Greenwood

4 credit hours

Introduction to traditional hand tool joinery and greenwood process through the production of social goods and the identification of a personal mode of practice.


AD 224 Woodworking: Turning and Bending

4 credit hours

Introduction to wood turning and bending through the production of social goods and the identification of a personal mode of practice.


AD 324 Woodworking: Seminar

4 credit hours
Prerequisites: AD 124, AD 203 and AD 224

Development of a professional portfolio and a written support paper. Emphasis is placed on understanding the various parameters of usefulness, cost and appearance that form the design problem.


AD 424 Woodworking: Seminar

4 credit hours
Prerequisite: AD 324

Continued development of a professional portfolio and written support paper from AD 324. Emphasis is placed on the application of ideology and theory.

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Woodworking FAQ

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What degree should I pursue?

The majority of Woodworking and Furniture Design majors pursue the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree often referred to as the BFA degree. This degree provides for more studio credit hours than does a BA or BS degree. However, students wishing to pursue a major/minor should look at the BA or BS degree. If you are confused about degrees please discuss this with your advisor. Once you declare a major or your pursued degree you may change- so don’t feel as if you are locked in- you’re not.

What do I need in terms of tools?

A hand tool kit is provided for each student for the first two semesters. (AD 124 Woodworking: Joinery and Greenwood and AD 224 Woodworking: Turning and Bending) Woodworking and Furniture Design majors in the higher-level studio classes are expected to acquire their own hand tools. All students must have their own safety glasses and a lock to secure their tools.

Will I need to submit a portfolio for admission?

No portfolio review is required. For general requirements for admission into the University you should check with the Admissions Office.

What emphasis will I find in the Woodworking and Furniture Design programs?

The emphasis in the first two semesters is on the physical aspects of woodworking. AD 124 starts with traditional green wood techniques to acquaint the student with issues of strength and grain direction as well as wood movement. We also work with dry lumber and mill it in preparation for hand tool joinery exercises. After the joinery exercises the student designs and creates work that utilizes the skills learned. We also employ carving techniques utilizing both power and hand tools. In the AD 224 class we work primarily with turning and bending techniques. On the lathe I teach cutting technique in addition to scraping. I present spindle work including multi axis as well as faceplate techniques. With bending we include linear laminate, steam, and planer vacuum bag techniques. After basic skills are practiced students design and build work that utilizes those skills. Basic information on drawing and designing three dimensionally is also presented as well as numerous examples of historic and contemporary work. In the upper level classes, third semester and beyond, my emphasis is on design methodology. Here we examine ways to expand our thinking on how to approach a problem. In addition to recognizing traditional approaches we look for as many alternatives as possible to expand our options before finalizing a design plan. I promote group brainstorming discussions and team thinking to challenge the status quo and access ideas that the individual working alone may not realize. Ultimately I work to promote the students understanding that they are creating themselves as well as their own future as they create their work.

Do most of your majors find employment?

Since not all graduates keep in contact it would be difficult to answer that question. However, many of our graduates who keep in contact have found related employment after graduation. Our program provides the needed educational experience and foundation for seeking professional employment as well as graduate studies. Several graduates are successful as independent designer/makers doing custom and limited production work with the help of several employees. Typically these businesses market their work through galleries and craft fairs.

May I enroll in other Art and Design classes?

Yes- there is elective Art and Design credits designed into the curriculum. You should consult with your advisor for specific details. Any 100 level Art and Design studio class has no pre-requisites.

What if I have problems enrolling in the AD 124 or AD 224 wood classes?

All of our lower level studio classes fill quickly. If the class is closed I recommend that you come to the first scheduled class meeting to see if anyone has dropped the class. Sometimes there are some drops in enrollment before the semester begins so check again.

Are there scholarships for incoming Art and Design majors at the freshman level?

The school offers the High School Freshman Scholarship (four $1000 awards) that is available each year with applications due in April.

See the web for details
Scholarship Information

More Questions?
Please write Professor Jason Schneider jasschne@nmu.edu
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