The Furniture Institute is steeped in methodology. Careful thought is given by the students and instructors alike to all aspects of furniture design and construction. Proper tool and machine maintenance is, in conjunction with proper tool/machine selection and operation, paramount. Equally important to the Furniture Institute is that the creativity of the individual furniture maker be nourished.
Nestled on the shore of Beverly Harbor, students are surrounded by the rich artistic and historic heritage of New England. National museums, stately homes and furniture masterpieces abound. Student visits are arranged with museums housing superior collections and the Institute strongly encourages independent exploration. All programs culminate with an annual open house showcasing student and faculty work.
Philip C. Lowe has been involved with woodworking since 1968 and is the author of many articles in Fine Woodworking Magazine. He is featured in the Time Life series on woodworking and in videos with the Taunton Press on “Carve a Ball and Claw Foot”, “Making a Sheraton Bed”, “Measuring Furniture for Reproduction”, and most recently numerous webcasts on www.finewoodworking.com. His teaching experience includes ten years (1975-1985) as an instructor at Boston’s North Bennett Street School fulfilling the position of department head for the latter five. Phil has been a visiting instructor, seminar speaker and demonstrator at various trade schools, private schools, and woodworking organizations throughout the United States and Canada. He holds a teaching certificate in vocational education for the state of Massachusetts. Since 1985 he has owned and operated a custom furniture making shop in Beverly, MA. Though he continues to produce classical furniture and architectural elements for museums and the private sector, it is not unusual to find him immersed in the world of furniture conservation. Phil currently serves in the capacity of Furniture Conservation Practitioner for the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts. In 2005, Phil received the Cartouche Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Society of American Period Furniture Makers, and in 2010 he was granted the 2010 Bulfinch Award for Artisanship presented by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America.
Located in Beverly, Massachusetts, just steps from the harbor, the 3500 square foot Furniture Institute consists of a machine room, bench room, and drafting room. It is fully equipped with professional and industrial machines of which offer the student a wide range of experience. Each student has their own bench and storage area to facilitate individual progress. The drafting room houses layout boards for drafting, computers, and a reference library. Individual wood storage areas are provided in the machine room.
Students must be 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED, and demonstrate some ability to successfully accomplish woodworking tasks. All students must have proof of being tested for TB.
This is a three-step process. 1. Interview- Every applicant must visit the school before enrollment. 2. Application- The applicant should fill out the form and return it only when all of the questions have been answered. If possible include any photos or digital images of your work. 3. Transcripts- High School and the most recent Post Secondary School marks are to be submitted. The applicant is responsible for requesting these transcripts and are to have them mailed to the school. When a complete application has been received it will be processed.
Applications will be reviewed semi annually and positions filled as they become available, Applications will remain active for a period of two years, at which time the applicant must reapply if they wish to remain in the application pool. Acceptance will be judged heavily on the interview and ability, demonstrated through slides and photos.
Upon acceptance for a specific starting date the applicant will be sent an “Enrollment Agreement”. This agreement must be signed and returned within the two weeks following. The “Enrollment Agreement” for the second year will be sent out at the end of the first school year and will need to be signed and returned with the registration fee within the two weeks following. This procedure is to be followed by the Mastery Program students as well.
The “Enrollment Agreement” should be signed and returned with a $100.00 Registration Fee. This fee is non-refundable after 5 days and is not part of the tuition.
Upon signing the Enrollment Agreement and paying the Registration Fee, the tuition is set at that rate for the schools calendar year. The conditions of payment are clarified in the Enrollment Agreement. Presently the cost of instruction during 2016/2017 is $22,000 per year. Two payments of $11,000.00 per school calendar year. First semester payment due August 1. Second semester payment due January 1.
The cost of wood, hardware, finishing materials and any special materials associated with the chosen project are the responsibility of the student. The estimated cost is $2500 to $3000 per year.
Students are responsible for providing their own hand tools in accordance with a list that will be provided after signing the enrollment agreement. Their cost is estimated at $1500 – $2000.
Instructors will be available from 8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with a one hour break for lunch. The school calendar runs September through June. The program lengths span one, two, or three years, the latter totaling 105 weeks or 2937 hours.
The shop will be available to the students under the supervision of a shop instructor or monitor after regular school hours from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. This extra shop time is included in the tuition. Shop will be closed to full time students in the evenings and on weekends.
When the material for special machine tooling is provided to the student by the school, the tool will remain the property of the school. Should the student purchase his or her own material they will retain possession of the finished tool.
The school does not provide any housing but will assist when ever possible to arrange for student accommodation. If you have any further questions please contact the school at: 978-922-0615