Laura Mays assumed the role of lead instructor beginning in August, 2011. She was a member of the classes of 2002 and 2003, the last class that Jim Krenov taught and the first without him. Her well-developed views on the importance of craft assures a continuation of qualities that distinguish the work of College of the Redwoods’ Fine Woodworking students. Here’s the official press release announcing her hiring.
A graduate of the program in 1984 and ’85, teaches on Fridays and Saturdays. His furniture business is located in rural Comptche at his cozy wooded ridge top.
Ejler Hjorth Westh
Formally trained as a biology teacher in his native Denmark, a New World tour brought Ejler Hjorth Westh to the Mendocino Coast in 1982. His professional involvement with wood began here with boat building. His experience was broadened during several unconventional home building projects and honed during his two years as a student in 1990 through 1992. In succeeding years he has established his own shop with work to engage himself and a series of employees full-time. He periodically builds a particular style of boat called dog-hole dory, engaging his own students in the process.
Greg Smith was a member of the classes of 1992 and 1993. His sixteen years of professional woodworking includes experience in custom production shops, an artist-in-residency at the Appalachian Center for Crafts, while at the same time creating award-winning fine furniture.
Also a two-year graduate of the program and a cabinetmaker, maintains the machine room, purchases wood and supplies, and assists students in capacities too numerous and petty to mention.
Michael Burns had been involved with the program since its inception in 1981. Having taught thirty classes, he retired at the end of the 2011 school year. His time now is fully engaged with his own shop, his grandchildren, and his fishing.
Reformed aerospace engineer Todd Sorenson filled in class hours that resulted when Michael Burns reduced his teaching time. Todd assists us during summer classes. He was a member of the classes of 2001 and 2002.