Class Announcement

Demystifying Design with Stuart Kent

hosted by Scott Smith at the Sawmill in Raleigh

Saturday (October 25 or November 15 TBA)

$135 per person, class size limited to 25 people.

  • $45 deposit required for registration, checks by mail and all major credit cards accepted.
  • If a cancellation is necessary, deposits are fully refundable up to Wednesday (October 22 or November 12). After the 22nd, deposits will be non-refundable.

Contact Stuart Kent at 252-916-8226 or to register.


Course Description

Design is a pursuit. It is an abstract concept that many woodworkers struggle to truly understand. However, like its sibling music theory, visual design does have structure and can be understood. This class will introduce the framework of visual design and help to demystify some of the deeper abstract problems in the process. Participants will learn the terminology of the design language, and methodologies for creating better designs.

The day will consist of a 3 hour morning class, lunch, and a 2 hour design workshop with a 1 hour afternoon design critique. All materials, refreshments, and lunch are included.

The morning will begin with a slide presentation on major furniture design styles and a discussion on what makes them visually successful. We will discuss some important conceptual aspects of design and how to become conscious of them. The presentation will also include examples of design evolution, wood selection, the sophistication of a finish and its impact on a design. Following the presentation there will be a brief Q & A session and then lunch from Scott’s grill!!!

After lunch there will be a 2 hour design workshop where students will learn to apply some of the design framework discussed in the morning session. During the workshop Stuart will provide individualized feedback on an original design to anyone interested – bring your sketchbooks!

To finish out the day, Stuart will moderate a one hour group critique of participants’ original designs. This will help participants understand how other people perceive their work. The critique will help each person understand where and how their designs are succeeding, and how each maker can improve future pieces. You are invited to bring an original small finished piece, original hand drawings, or original printed computer renderings for the critique. Learning to critique with intention and purpose is a critical step in understanding the abstract nuances in the pursuit of better design, and will in turn it will help you create better pieces.


hope to see you there!

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