"To inspire a lifelong passion for craftsmanship through education in woodworking and traditional building trades."
Our goals for the School are to:
- Become a leading center for education in woodworking and practical historic preservation
- Attract excellent faculty
- Offer comprehensive vocational and avocational programs
- Engage young people to become the next generation of craftspersons
- Offer scholarship programs to young adults and veterans
- Engage with other nearby educational institutions to provide vocational education in the traditional trades
- Engage actively in the restoration of historic buildings at Fort Worden
- Work to create additional teaching facilities for the School and other organizations at the Fort
- Place students in apprenticeship and mentoring programs
The School began as an LLC in 2007 and re-incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Washington State in September 2009. Today, we are an independent Washington State Licensed Vocational School run by an Executive Director and an all volunteer Board of Directors. Our school is organized and operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Founded in 2007, by Jim Tolpin, John Marckworth, and Tim Lawson, the Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades is located at Fort Worden in the Historic Victorian Seaport town of Port Townsend, Washington, a vibrant maritime, woodworking and arts center.
In 2012, more than 300 students attended 49 avocational woodworking classes, including our 12-week Woodworking Foundations courses.
Our classes are taught by a diverse faculty of local, regional and nationally known woodworkers.
Students who take our classes come back for more. In 2012, we had a return rate of more than 50%.
We are offering the 12-week Woodworking Foundation Course, twice a year, to both vocational and avocational students. A 12-week Furniture Making course will be offered in 2015.
Development of a 12-week Historic Preservation intensive is being pursued in cooperation with Washington State Parks staff as well as Veterans and other State and local agencies as opportunities for restoring historic buildings and funding allow.
Strength is in partnership. The School has formed, and continues to nurture, a wide array of partnerships with local educational, city, State, and other not-for-profit organizations.
The School is active in helping Fort Worden develop as a Life Long Learning center - we work closely with Washington State Parks, the Fort Worden Partners (FWP) and the Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Center Public Development Authority (FWPDA).
The School has partnered with Goddard College to offer 12 semester units of transfer credit to students in Goddard's low residency undergraduate program who successfully complete our Woodworking Foundation Course.
Port Townsend and the surrounding Jefferson County has the potential to be a major center for trades and crafts training. We’re working with the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building and the Northwest Maritime Center and others to realize this potential.
How you can help
You can join the community of people who love wood and woodworking; value craftsmanship, historic preservation and practical education.
- Donations to our Woodworkers of the Future Scholarship Fund allow us to bring aspiring young craftspeople to the School and to help veterans develop new skills
- As the School continues to grow we continually need tools, shop and office equipment. Check our Wish List to see ways you can help.