Dust to Dust: Wooden Boxes for What Remains

July 19 - July 23, 2024

Dust to Dust: Wooden Boxes for What Remains


Details Fee Breakdown:
Tuition: $770
Material Fee: $100

In this workshop, we will use basic woodworking techniques to design and create small boxes designed to house very specific objects. We will utilize all of the important equipment of the woodworking shop, including band saws, table saws, sanders, carving and hand tools, and much more, to create “bandsaw boxes”. This box will be a reliquary that contains something left behind, reminiscent, or somehow connected to a person who we care for.You will be asked to bring a small object or objects that either remind you or relate to a loved one, a loved one past, or something that you yourself hope to leave behind. This could be anything from ashes, to a cherished keepsake. Perhaps it is something of our own that we want to be saved when we are gone. An important part of this process will be a series of design prompts and exercises, to help guide the aesthetic and conceptual decisions around the boxes. We will discuss the objects, their history, their meanings in our lives or the lives of their current or former owners, and how those things can help guide an aesthetic decision-making process. The idea is to leave with a box, or boxes, that really capture the essence of the objects within, and thereby of the people that the objects memorialize. Relics tie us to those who have come before us. The creation of a special home for such an object elevates the object to a higher level. It endows the object with a greater power to summon memories and touch our hearts.

Workshops run from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day
Lunch is included for all participants

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



Adam John Manley

Adam John Manley is Associate Profes­sor of Furni­ture Design and Wood­work­ing at San Diego State Univer­sity, and has taught full time at Maine College of Art and UMass Dart­mouth, and as adjunct at Univer­sity of New Hamp­shire. He has also taught exten­sively at Haystack Moun­tain School of Craft, Penland School of Craft, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Adam has been an artist in residence at UW Madison, where he was a Windgate Fellow, the Haystack Open studio Resi­dency, the Lanes­boro resi­dency in South­ern Minnesota, and the Museum for Art in Wood, in Philadelphia. Adam sits on the board of directors for the Furniture Society, where he served as board president from 2020-2022. He is currently also on the board of the Emma International Collaboration, a Saskatchewan Canada based non-profit that hosts a biennial collaborative residency event in northern Saskatchewan. Adam has devel­oped a unique voice that blends func­tional construc­tion method­olo­gies, mate­r­ial explo­ration, and a focus on the concep­tual poten­tial embod­ied within craft, furni­ture, and func­tional famil­iar objects. Adam has taught at numer­ous insti­tu­tions, from colleges to craft schools, and contin­ued to develop his ideas and work in an ever-evolv­ing way. Adam’s work has addressed issues relat­ing to our unique sense of place and how famil­iar func­tional objects link us to that sense, humor, indi­vid­ual and univer­sal rela­tion­ships to furni­ture, and, more recently, the rela­tion­ship between furni­ture and the histor­i­cal objects used to inflict violence on others through­out time. Adam has exhibited his work nationally and been part of events and exhibitions related to “World Wood Day”, an event hosted by the International Wood Cultures Society, in both Nepal and Cambodia. Adam is the co-founder, along with colleague Keri­anne Quick, of the contem­po­rary craft zine/journal, CRAFT DESERT, a publication which is nationally recognized in the field. That collaboration has also yielded a successful national exhibition of over 60 artists from across the country at City Gallery, in the Spring of 2022, and will continue to morph into more ambitious projects and events.

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Emma Chorostecki

Emma Chorostecki (she/they), is a furniture + spatial designer/maker exploring areas of materiality + social identities, primarily through woodworking. Emma’s speculative works have been exhibited across Canada + US with commissioned pieces in homes around the world including Paris, New York and Toronto. Emma currently resides in Vancouver, Canada, where they are a Masters candidate in Architecture at the University of British Columbia. Emma’s background in dance and choreography is woven into her storytelling + design ethos. Somatic understandings feed the creative containers of their work through an interdisciplinary design + experimentation process. Whether it be in furniture, sculpture or architecture, Emma considers it all to apply to the spectrum of understanding bodies in space. Most recently, Emma has worked on designing future cemeteries through the lens of craft, utilizing the making hand as a tool of mourning.

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