Woodcraft Funds Scholarships for Three Students at The Krenov SchoolComments (0)
Three students at The Krenov School in Fort Bragg, California, are recipients of scholarships awarded by The Krenov Foundation and funded by Woodcraft Supply.
Secrest of La Crescenta, California, was presented his scholarship this
semester. Hayden Castagno of Rexburg, Idaho, and Miles Gracey of Los Angeles,
California, received scholarships in the fall of 2021 for the first semester.
The Krenov Foundation, established in 2014, awards several substantial scholarships each year to students attending The Krenov School, which was founded in 1981 by the late James Krenov, a highly acclaimed cabinetmaker, author and teacher.
In addition to the scholarships for the nine-month program, the foundation now offers BIPOC Summer Workshop Scholarships for people of color and others who have been underrepresented at the school. Read more about the foundation at thekrenovfoundation.org.
“Woodcraft is proud to support this scholarship program that
encourages participation and excellence in fine woodworking,” President and CEO
Jack Bigger said. “The Krenov School and Foundation play an important role in
preserving this centuries-old craft.”
The Krenov School. A part of Mendocino College, The Krenov School offers an intense fine woodworking and cabinetmaking program. Prior to COVID, the program was nine months, six days a week, eight hours a day over two semesters. To accommodate COVID protocols, the program has operated on a shorter timeframe with fewer students to allow safe distancing. In February, the school announced on its Facebook page that it would again be accepting applications for the nine-month program, starting in August 2022.
machinery is used at the school, the focus is on teaching students to use hand
tools and learn to design and execute a project on their own. Some students opt
to go a second year for more advanced instruction. Short workshops are also
offered in the summer.
Pursuing Wood in a Creative Relationship
First-Year Student. Chris
credits his grandfather for introducing him to woodworking and carpentry as a
kid growing up in San Antonio. Woodworking remained a part of his life into
adulthood, but he pursued screenwriting and for many years made a living
designing and creating motion graphics. A 2018 summer workshop at The Krenov
School so inspired him that he switched to woodworking and related fields
full-time, eventually focusing on commission work that led him back to The
his current studies at The Krenov School, Chris said: “The emphasis here at The
Krenov School is on deliberate, studied progress towards completion of one’s
project. The luxury of time and attention to detail isn’t often the case out in
the real woodworking world, so the techniques and processes learned here at
Krenov will hopefully serve to ground and inform my future work, keeping one
foot in these time-honored traditions while striving for competitiveness in a
larger mass market of craftspersons.”
forward,” Chris observed, “the techniques and practices I’ve learned at Krenov
will certainly elevate my working style as well as my end product, helping to
differentiate my work from examples of turn-the-crank products. I already have
several commissions waiting in the wings for me when my instruction here is
complete, and I’m looking forward to applying what I’m learning now to those
Emerson’s Valet Box by Chris Secrest
Emerson's Valet Box.
Emerson's Valet Box interior view. Made from Honduran Mahogany, Port Orford Cedar, Tanoak, Rosewood and Bamboo.
During his first year at The Krenov School, Chris built this keepsake box for his son, Emerson, as a Christmas gift in 2021.
Construction Details: The carcass, drawer front, lid and lift-out divided tray
come from a gorgeous piece of Honduran Mahogany. The top was coopered using a
hand-made coopering plane Chris built for an earlier coopering exercise, and he
enjoyed it so much he integrated a coopered element into this project. The
drawer has Maple sides and, for its pleasant aroma, Chris chose Port Orford
Cedar for the drawer bottom. The carcass bottom is Mahogany frame and panel
construction, and the partition between the drawer pocket and the tray
compartment above is a jointed Tanoak panel. Chris used Bamboo nails to fasten
the tray dividers to the tray sides for strength and contrast. Finally, his two
pulls are hand-shaped Rosewood, which he also used for the box feet.
Hayden Castagno, Second-Year Student. Hayden grew up spending time in his father’s metal fabrication shop and went on to make a living working with metals. He learned the detail-oriented aspects of woodworking as teen, using inlay work to make skateboards. In his marquetry research, he saw The Krenov School mentioned, and in 2019 he applied.
a first-year student at The Krenov School, Hayden said, “I experienced a
complete transformation as a craftsperson, which can be attributed to the
environment: 48 hours a week surrounded by supportive instructors, inspiring
alumni, and a tried and true curriculum.”
Hayden said he began combining his metalworking background with woodworking by making tools, starting with miniature brass spokeshaves. “I have since built on that and started a business under my own name, making a range of tools that became useful in the school. I have plans to make functional furniture and continue on the toolmaking path.”
#1: Red Gum Wall Cabinet
#4: Niels Moller Model 64 Chair
#3: Unrequited – Display Cabinet
Marquetry under curved top of Unrequited.
#2: Display Cabinet on a Stand
Miles Lawton Gracey, Second-Year Student. Miles moved through the disciplines of music, design, and sculpture before making furniture.
Trained as a cabinetmaker, he found his way to The Krenov School where he challenged himself to make objects with the precision and techniques only possible at a school like The Krenov.
Krenov School offered a safe and supportive space to test the limits of my
skills and experiment with new techniques,” Miles said. “The time offered by
the school allowed me to slow down and listen to the materials, and the class
itself provided constant encouragement and cross-pollination of ideas.”
said he will take the skills he learned at The Krenov School to several artist
residencies where he will further refine and expand his body of work.
Miles Gracey’s Furniture
Cabinet in D Minor Open View.
Open view of Loose Ends.
Loose Ends: Made of Bubinga, Camphor, Ebony, brass and glass in 202l. Cabinet features include two pizza drawers with Ebony bottoms, a glass shelf, carved camphor screen, two sliding curved doors, carved pulls and a spicy camphor aroma.
Interior view of Ends Meet
Ends Meet: Made of Gaboon Ebony, Macassar Ebony, Pear and Brass in 2022. It has six shaped Ebony legs, two Ebony carved screens, two chambers that are hinged and can be configured at different angles, compound curved tops and carved pulls.
Hats Off To Krenov
Congratulations and best wishes for a successful future to these three dedicated woodworkers, and to all the Krenov students who share their passion for building with wood in the James Krenov tradition.
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