Westervelt Program Open to Public at Berea College

Berea College

The Berea College Technology and Applied Design Department is accepting course registration for the fall 2018 Westervelt Program. The Westervelt program is offered each year to Berea townspeople as well as students, faculty and staff. The program provides excellent opportunities for individuals to develop a well-rounded educational background and pursue specific areas of interest.

The fall Westervelt program will concentrate on furniture production—making a Greenwood Stool with woven seat—and will be led by Andy Glenn, woodcraft supervisor in Berea College Student Crafts. The eight-week course begins Oct. 1 and will conclude Nov. 28. Classes will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. To register please call Mark Mahoney at (859) 985-3060 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. There is a $20 non-refundable registration fee for the entire course. In addition, students will be responsible for any materials used. The class is limited to 16 participants. Participants must be at least 18 years old to enroll in the Westervelt program.

Inspired by the work of Appalachian chair makers, the Westervelt class will cover the techniques and methods used by traditional craft persons to construct a woven-seat stool. Material will be split out from fresh logs processed in the course. Parts will be shaped on the lathe and the shave horse, using both traditional and contemporary construction techniques. The seat frame parts will be steamed and then bent to form. The seat is often constructed of woven material consisting typically of split bark, cane or rush, though other materials may be used. The class will cover proper and safe use of tools, machines, construction techniques, wood finishing and the use of reclaimed/locally processed wood. If time and skill allow, additional furniture-based projects may be explored.

Named for Edmund C. Westervelt, the program has increased in popularity and growth over the past 70 years. The program was designed to give Berea College students, faculty, staff and townspeople the opportunity to have a practical, hands-on experience enabling them to become more self-sufficient, develop skills and knowledge which could be applied in both vocational and avocational settings, and be more informed consumers of goods and services.

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