2021 Guild School

June 12-18, 2021     Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, Maine

24 Hour Classes

Please note that most of the 2021 classes were offered in 2020. School was cancelled for 2020 so they will be offered in 2021. Students who were registered in those classes have first priority for 2021. The classes that were full in 2020 are indicated by an F following the class title. This is tentative as those students may choose to select other classes or may not be able to attend school and thus open up a space.

An asterisk * means this is a new offering for 2021.


INSTRUCTOR: Pete Acquisto, Fellow
COURSE: Silversmithing and Machine Work
PROJECT: Victorian Oil and Vinegar Cruets with Stand

This simple Vinegar and Oil set will make an excellent project for the lathe. The cruet bottles will be supplied. The project involves making the stand by turning the parts on the lathe. The simple lines of this stand make it a perfect project for beginner to intermediate students. Students will learn soldering with the Little Torch by using silver scraps to practice on before soldering the turned parts together.

The final step will be to polish the piece using advanced polishing techniques utilizing the flex shaft machine. A lesson plan will be provided outlining every step required to accomplish this stand.

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.

POWER TOOLS: lathe, flex shaft, buffing machine

SKILL LEVEL: Beginner and intermediate

MATERIALS FEE: $110 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Pete Acquisto, Fellow
COURSE: Silversmithing and Machine Work
PROJECT: Antique Tiffany Hotel Silver Footed Compote

This beautiful Tiffany footed compote is a great piece for a lathe turning project. Students will learn how to operate the lathe and some of its attachments to accomplish the curves and angles of this wonderful piece. This piece will be turned in two parts and then assembled using silver solder. Students will learn the basics of silver soldering and pieces of scrap silver will be provided to practice on. Students will also learn to operate the flex shaft machine with polishing points of different shapes and felt wheels to create a beautiful finish on the piece. Students will be amazed at what they can do.

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.

POWER TOOLS: lathe, flex shaft machine, buffing machine

SKILL LEVEL: Beginner and intermediate. This class is designed for the person with no experience working with the lathe.

MATERIALS FEE: $100 to be collected at the school

INSTRUCTOR: Diane Almeyda, Artisan
COURSE: Metal/Glass Enamel
PROJECT: Round Stained Glass Window

Historically, stained glass windows were decorative ways to allow light and beauty into a room while teaching lessons at the same time. Originally found predominately in churches and monasteries, as time passed and life changed, people could afford to decorate their homes in this fashion. Incredible examples of this art form can be seen all over the world dating from the 7th century and names such as Tiffany and LaFarge in the United States brought it to its heyday in the early 1900s. Although, it is still popular to this day.

Learn the secrets of creating miniature stained glass using real glass and metal! Create an impressive and beautiful stained glass window for your roombox, dollhouse, sunroom, or conservatory; or incorporate it into a piece of furniture or in a room ceiling to be used as a stained glass skylight.

Using thin ribbons of fine silver wire, students will bend and form them into a fine wire “web” which will then be silver soldered together to form a filigree-like framework. This will then be prepared for the application of ground glass enamel powders. Heat this in a kiln to temperatures of approximately 1400 degrees Fahrenheit to melt the glass and allow it to fuse to the silver framework and students will have a true miracle!

In addition to learning silver soldering that jewelers employ (high temperature using a torch) students will also learn how to prepare and apply enamels, as well as learn finishing techniques to complete the resulting enamel work of art.

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.

POWER TOOLS: flex shaft

SKILL LEVEL: All levels. Steady hands, fine hand motor skills (use of tweezers and pliers necessary), and good eyesight (with magnification is fine) will ensure success in this class. Please note, there will be no sawing in this class.

MATERIALS FEE: $95 to be collected in advance of school

INSTRUCTOR: Valeria Bonomi, Fellow
COURSE: Leather Work
PROJECT: Ballerina Shoes

Students will make ballerina style shoes in leather. They will learn how to sculpt a leg and foot model in polymer clay. They will also learn how to use a special machine to make leather very thin and soft. Using the model they sculpted, students can create different shoes with lots of different decorations. They will learn how to make leather flowers, bows and tassels. Metal parts will be provided and students can modify them using hand drills and files; adding, crystals or gold and silver parts. Students can choose their favorite designer label and can apply it on their fancy shoes. If desired, using acrylic paints, students can paint their shoes to create lovely unique pieces!

Unleash your creativity; shoes have no limits!

time: 24 hours. Students can expect to finish three perfect pairs of shoes, depending on skill level and time. Of course, they can make more.


SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

MATERIALS FEE: $30 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Pam & Pete Boorum, Artisans
COURSE: Furniture Construction
PROJECT: Portsmouth Candle Stand, c. 1820–1850

The candle stand was an important piece of furniture for indoor life before electricity was available. Once the sun went down, candles or oil lamps would be the only source of light. Candle stands tended to be small and light so that they could be easily moved. A tripod base ensured stability on possibly uneven floors, and the tilting top meant that it could be tucked away until needed.

There are different skills to learn in making this deceptively simple piece, including making ball feet, mortising the column to attach the three legs, hinging the top, and making a brass plate under the column.

And, since a candle stand presumes candles may be present, students will make a candle box to go with it!

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.

POWER TOOLS: table saw, lathe, shaper, disk sander

SKILL LEVEL: Beginner and intermediate

MATERIALS FEE: $40 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Phyllis Hawkes, Fellow
COURSE: Traditional Oil Painting
PROJECT: “Still Life with Champagne”

Paint this beautiful still life of fruit and a glass of champagne by Severin Roesen, a painter known for his abundant fruit and flower paintings. He is recognized today as one of the major American still life painters of the mid-nineteenth century. Roesen worked in Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg area. Over 300 of his paintings have been recorded, most of them very lush with fruit and many also with flowers.

In this class students will be reproducing one of his simpler works. They will learn traditional oil painting and glazing techniques, brush handling, color mixing, shading and blending, and more. There will be special study on shading round objects and how to paint glass.

The image area will measure 1 7/8" H x 2 3/8" W with an additional 1/16" added to each dimension for framing. It is sized to accommodate a John Hodgson gold frame or any other frame of choice. Students will use traditional artist’s oil paint on a gessoed board. They will approach the work in a step-by-step fashion, beginning with transferring the image and initial color blocking to adding levels of detail each day. They will be amazed at the results this technique produces.

Each student will receive an illustrated booklet with photographs taken as the instructor painted the prototype, each picture with written instructions. Three mini brushes are included to use and take home.

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.


SKILL LEVEL: All levels. Familiarity with brush handling is helpful.

MATERIALS FEE: $75 to be collected in advance or at school

INSTRUCTOR: Daniela Kiefhaber, Artisan
COURSE: Mixed Media
PROJECT: Punch and Judy Puppet Theater

A symbol of childhood—a puppet theater. The most popular has to be the British Punch and Judy, which was based on the 16th century commedia dell’arte.

Students will paint their puppet theater after building it from wood and cardboard. They are welcome to pick the pictured example or construct their own based on their fantasy or a historic piece. Painting will be done freehand, while stencils will be either provided or made, just to the student’s needs. The matching backdrops will be painted in watercolor.

The puppets are created from polymer clay, baked and painted. Any character (traditional, fairytale, animals, etc.) is welcome! They will be dressed with fabric, which will be decorated with paint and trims. After some aging the puppet theatre iscomplete and ready for play!

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.


SKILL LEVEL: All levels

MATERIALS FEE: $35 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Miyuki Kobayashi, Artisan
COURSE: Clay Fish and Plant Making
PROJECT: Japanese Garden with Gold Fish in Stone Bowl and Hydrangea

Chouzubachi is the Japanese name of stone bowls which were put in the Japanese Garden and formerly used to wash hands before entering the tea arbor. Recently, the Japanese are also enjoying it as a vessel to hold some fish, flowers and plants in a home garden and to foster healing.

In this class students will be able to learn how to make not only goldfish, but also a stone bowl, other stones, hydrangea and other plants. In addition, they can learn the technique of how to express the differences of each type of stone. The prototype is made on the small wood base, but if students wish to put these items in the miniature garden that they are making, it is okay to arrange it that way.

Please enjoy making the original small Japanese Garden!

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.


SKILL LEVEL: All levels

MATERIALS FEE: $48 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Tine Krijnen, Fellow
COURSE: Bookmaking
PROJECT: Model Menagerie Pop-Up Book

Students will make the Model Menagerie, a pop-up book published in 1895. The story tells how the wild animals ended up in the zoo (probably in London). People had different opinions about zoos. Some thought that these animals were rescued from “worst” conditions and that they were treated very well. This is a beautiful pop-up book bound in pictorial, paper-covered boards with a red cloth spine. It contains an Introduction along with six stories and featuring fragile, three-dimensional “pop-up” scenes, depicting wild animals in captivity.

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely. Cutting out the bars of the cages is challenging work, but students should have plenty of time. Home cutting exercises will be sent to students in advance of the school week for practice.


SKILL LEVEL: All levels

MATERIALS FEE:$65 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Iulia Chin Lee, Artisan
COURSE: Woodturning
PROJECT: Nutcracker and Japanese Dolls

This course will follow the natural progression of wood turning techniques, from spindle turning to creating beautiful Japanese dolls and Nutcracker dolls. The primary focus through this progression will be on forming desired shapes in the wood. This will be accomplished through understanding the functions of individual turning tools and the various shapes each tool can create. 

The class will begin with an introduction and review of basic spindle turning to allow students to accustom themselves to the tools and materials. Once the students are comfortable with the cutting implements and the methods, they will learn how to cut the head, shape the body, and turn the base. This class includes two types of dolls. Japanese dolls employ only spindle turning; while Nutcracker dolls also incorporate joints for moving arms. We will start with Japanese dolls and progress to Nutcracker dolls. 

Painting will also play a very important role in this class. This naturally pairs with learning to sand and seal the wooden dolls prior to painting them. Since dolls are variable in real size, the students may turn them in great variety of shapes and different sizes. Given the diversity of shapes, sizes, and finishes, students are encouraged to create their own dolls, each with their own personal identity.

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.


SKILL LEVEL: Beginner and intermediate

MATERIALS FEE:$40 to be collected at school. The instructor will purchase tools for students on request. A Robert Sorby tool set is $150.

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Malcomson, Artisan
COURSE: Furniture Construction
PROJECT: Victorian Tilt Top Tripod Table, c. 1870

This fabulous Victorian inlaid table is a masterpiece of parquetry design using a variety of different woods in the inlaid star pattern to striking effect. The base of the table has a gun barrel stem and sits on beautifully shaped cabriole legs with pad feet. These tables were both decorative and practical as the top can be tilted upright so it can be stowed away.

Students will learn a number of different parquetry techniques including book matching and inlaid banding construction for the top. The gun barrel stem will be turned on a lathe and the legs will be cut out and shaped using a scroll saw. After polishing, the table will be assembled in all its glory. This promises to be as instructive as it is enjoyable and challenging. (This is a slight variation from the 2020 project.)

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.

POWER TOOLS: scroll saw, lathe, drill press

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate. Good eye for detail. Patience.

MATERIALS FEE: $50 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Mary Grady O’Brien, Fellow
COURSE: Folk Art Painting
PROJECT: A Child’s Treasure

This dear little chest was originally made for a special child, but it is one of those cherished keepsakes that could be “re-purposed” for adult use. Perhaps it would serve as a sewing cupboard or storage for a collection of shells, butterflies or other small objects.

The pattern is very geometric, repetitious and reflects the very distinct Mahantango Valley, Pennsylvania style. This piece has the familiar hearts, birds and stars combined with numerous dots. It reflects the spirit of the folk art artist who desired to add beauty combined with practicality to the family home.

All levels can achieve success with this design for it is not overly complicated yet very charming and enjoyable to paint. All your material needs will be covered by your class fee and Mark Murphy will be providing the three-drawer chest.

The chest measures 1 1/2” W x 1 1/4” H x 1” D.

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.


SKILL LEVEL: All levels.

MATERIALS FEE: $120 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Bill Robertson, Artisan
COURSE: Metal Lathe Work
PROJECT: 18th Century French Door Hardware

This is a lathe class that is appropriate for students with beginning to advanced skills. In this class, students will make a range of fancy and complex working door hardware found on early doors in Europe. Think of the delight you will experience when you unlatch those doors or windows in the morning to throw them open to reveal a wonderful view. This hardware will be based on various engravings from an 18th century French book on blacksmithing. The photo is from Art du Serrurier, by Duhamel du Monceau, 1767, a book in the instructor’s collection.

Students will have quite a bit of flexibility in their project so it can fit any door they may have and so it matches the student’s skill level. The instructor will send out drawings well ahead of school for those who want to make some nice doors. Mediumdensity fiberboard dummy doors will be provided to temporarily mount the hardware in class. The skills learned in this class will allow students to make all sorts of hardware on their own.

This class will involve lathe work, turning, drilling, threading, making matching parts, soldering, polishing and a number of other techniques mostly in brass. Students will start with barrel hinges that can be turned and soldered or rolled. Then they will make the ornate sliding bolts that hold the doors together and lock them to the door jam.

This will be a fun lathe class for beginners to advanced with a project full of working parts to show your friends.

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.

POWER TOOLS: lathe, drill press, grinder, flex shaft

SKILL LEVEL: All levels

MATERIALS FEE: $125 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Bill Robertson, Artisan
COURSE: Metal and Wood Lathe Work
PROJECT: 18th Century Hand Drills

This is a lathe class based on the engraving of a multitude of drills from Bergeron’s book Manuel du Tourneur from 1792. This class will concentrate on the pump and bow drills. The others can be done if time allows or for the advance students that may work faster. The instructor will bring full-size similar drills. Polished steel, brass, ivory, ebony and rosewood make these drills both utilitarian and attractive. Special attention will focus on turning the beautiful and elegantly shaped parts.

The class specializes in very small parts with tight tolerances that fit together, yet turn smoothly. These tasks will be very helpful for the beginner student and those wanting a refresher. Advanced techniques will include turning tapers, press fits and, if time permits, making square holes and offset turnings such as on the handle of the brace. Students will also make drill bits; both spoon and spade bits as these were used for hundreds of years before the invention of the modern twist drill which everyone is familiar with. Spoon and spade bits are still used in many trades to this day, such as chair and watch making. These skills can be used to make real tools for creating your miniatures.

This will be a fun class that will result in a project that is a beautiful scale miniature with the added bonus that it will drill tiny holes!

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely.

POWER TOOLS: lathe, drill press, grinder, flex shaft

SKILL LEVEL: All levels

MATERIALS FEE: $95 to be collected at school

INSTRUCTOR: Sandy Rubin, Fellow
COURSE: Planting Making
PROJECT: Wheelbarrow with Autumn Flowers

Students will create from scratch materials, chrysanthemums, collarette dahlias, coreopsis and old-fashioned black-eyed susans. New types of materials and new skills will be introduced. Students will learn to “dirty-up” the wheelbarrow and flowerpots and arrange the completed blossoms within the pots and wheelbarrow. New techniques taught will be different ways to cut and color and shape the individual flowers and working with pastels, watercolors, and inks to achieve the most realistic flowers possible. The wheelbarrow and all accessories will be provided by the instructor. Students may bring any accessories they would like to compliment the project.

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely. If overtime is needed, it can be done as a small amount of homework. 


SKILL LEVEL: All levels

MATERIALS FEE: $50 to be collected in advance of school

INSTRUCTOR: Michael Yurkovic, Artisan
COURSE: Mixed Media
PROJECT: Landscaping the Seasons: A Seasonal Sampler

Landscaping can often set the tone and season in a vignette or diorama. Be it snowy cold weather outside a warm cabin draped with icicles, a cobblestone path with bits of turf and fall leaves under a park bench, or a stream trickling through a meadow of tall grass in spring, these elements help create the mood and story!

Students will create four seasonal vignettes or samplers, which will allow them to gain experience with the wide variety of materials and processes available to the miniaturist. Techniques for using “static” grass will be learned—the ability for grass to stand up straight. Water techniques will also be learned, as well as the illusion of ice and icicles. Students will create snow in drifts or light flakes. Rock and stone paths will also be made, and students will learn how to paint and finish these features to enhance the illusion. When completed, the four landscaping samplers will fit together to form a continuous panorama!

The idea is to learn all these techniques so students can apply them to their own personal projects. Students will be amazed at the things they can do!

time: 24 hours. Completion is likely, along with lots of fun along the way.


SKILL LEVEL: All levels. This is a fun, creative class with no prior experience necessary.

MATERIALS FEE: $85 to be collected at school