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Green Woodworking for Humans & Trees

May 26 - 31, 2024

Gina Siepel  ·  website

Sara Smith  ·  website

Workshop Overview


This workshop will be an interdisciplinary and playful exploration of the relationship between green woodworking, forest ecology, and the human body. Green woodworking centers the use of simple hand tools and provides an in-depth experience of wood as a plant material. We will work holistically, connecting woodworking techniques with supportive physical practices, and understanding the material of wood as a part of the forest habitat in which it grows. Class sessions will include green woodworking, walks in the local forests, field observation, discussion, and study of the physiological aspects of chair and stool design. Students will learn fundamentals of green wood construction as well as introductory dendrology (the study of trees), and leave the class with a completed greenwood stool. Students of all experience levels are welcome to join us in this ecologically-engaged woodworking experience.


  • Greenwoodworking: hand-tool shaping of green, unprocessed wood
  • Readings, discussions, and exploratory exercises into relationships between makers, materials, and ecosystems
  • Body awareness practices


  • Class Materials List
  • Please note any materials you are expected to purchase prior to arrival
  • Estimated fees vary based on class size and materials used


  • An understanding of the green woodworking process
  • Complete a simple stool
  • A basic understanding of forest ecology and awareness practices
  • A basic understanding of functional human anatomy for makers
  • Basic somatic design principles



Fees exclude housing and meal plans. Review housing options here.

Artist Bio

Gina Siepel is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and woodworker, based in Greenfield MA. Their artistic practice reflects an engagement with place, history, queer experience, and ecology, and their work integrates conceptual concerns and craftsmanship with a focus on wood as a natural and a cultural material. Gina’s works have been shown in museums and galleries nationally, including the Colby Museum, the DeCordova Museum, Vox Populi Gallery, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and Amherst College. Gina has been a fellow or artist-in-residence at Skowhegan, Hewnoaks, the Winterthur Museum, the Vermont Studio Center, Sculpture Space, and Mildred’s Lane. She has received funding from the Berkshire Taconic Fund, the Puffin Foundation, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Gina holds a BFA from the School of Art + Design at SUNY Purchase and an MFA from the Maine College of Art, and has taught at Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Gina is currently a MacLeish Field Station Artist-in-Residence at Smith College, and a 2023 recipient of a Teaching Artist Cohort Grant from the Center for Craft.

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  • Gina-Siepel
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Sara Smith is a transdisciplinary choreographer and librarian who focuses on the interconnected poetics and politics of embodied research through an ecosystemic lens. Sara’s years of dance and somatic studies includes a core of modern and contemporary dance, Alexander Technique, and functional anatomy. Sara has written, presented on, and taught workshops in dance, performance, and creative research practices in multiple formats and forums. Sara’s projects have been supported by funding from the LEF Foundation, Maine Arts Commission, New England Foundation for the Arts, the Puffin Foundation, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in choreography, and residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo, Hewnoaks, and the American Antiquarian Society.

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ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation Arrowmont is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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