A Weekend with Tommy Simpson

October 22 - October 23, 2022

A Weekend with Tommy Simpson


Details Fee Breakdown:
Tuition: $130

Peters Valley is excited to partner with The Furniture Society to bring you this special workshop event.

Join us in celebrating the creative process of Tommy Simpson. In this weekend workshop Tommy Simpson and Abby Mechanic will be leading participants through an exploratory spoon carving workshop. Participants will be presented with a prompt by Tommy and will react via the spoon carving process. On every hour participants will swap spoons with a neighbor and will be challenged to make on the fly design decisions. Over the two day period all participants will have had a hand at helping to create a suite of spoons. We will take the time to critique and discuss the collective design decisions and unpack the inspiration behind our decisions. This weekend will be a time to create community within the woodworking field and to reflect on the joys of making!

Lunch is included with tuition. Limited dorm rooms are available for $75 per night. Please call the office at 973-948-5200 if you would like to make a reservation.

Funding for the event is made possible through a grant from the American Craft Council legacy series honoring their members of the college of fellows of which Tommy is a member. Tommy is also an Award of Distinction member of the Furniture Society. This partnership is an extension of Peters Valley as an Educational Grant Partner.

Level: Beginner and Beyond
Workshop Levels

Definitions of Skill Levels for Workshops

  • Beginner and Beyond: Introductory level course that presents basic knowledge of tools, materials and techniques and is geared towards first timers or those who want to improve and expand their technique. It takes time to build skills.
  • Advanced Beginner and Beyond: Instruction that assumes some familiarity with tools, materials and equipment. Includes reviews and builds on basic skill sets, allows for those with more experience to work at their own pace. Further development of fundamentals, participants have had at least one class or equivalent with professional instruction.
  • Intermediate: Course content that assumes a working knowledge of basic studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored. Participants feel comfortable in the studio setting.
  • Intermediate to Advanced: Course content that requires a proficient working knowledge of studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored in class.
  • Advanced: Assumes proficiency and advanced working knowledge of materials and studio tools and equipment so that the focus is on artistic narrative and/or technical development.
Ages: Adult


Registration for this workshop has been closed.


Tommy Simpson

Tommy Simpson’s artwork transcends craftsmanship, fine art, and whimsy.  He is an “imaginist” who has worked in nearly every medium, including; woodworking, painting, printmaking, clay, woodcarving, bookmaking, jewelry, and even prose. In each work of art, the artist “puzzles together” his personal and cultural references into a signature blend of joyfulness and subtle commentary.  “The ultimate goal,” Tommy says, “is to bring the artwork to life, so that the viewer can identify the human spirit behind the work, and experience its poetry.”

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Abby Mechanic

Abby Mechanic received her BFA from the Maine College of Art with a concentration in Woodworking and Furniture Design. After graduating, she worked in various design studios, such as Luur Design, Nate Berkus, and Matter Practice. Mechanic then spent seven years working at Parsons School of Design, where she began as a Part-Time Technician and later became the Associate Director of the Making Center. She now works at Peters Valley School of Craft as the Education Director. In her downtime, she travels around the country teaching spoon carving and expanding the field of woodworking. 

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