Craft is Alive.
The natural and the man-made are given new life when we integrate them. The wood department offers a furniture-based program providing students the knowledge and skills necessary to competently and confidently create wooden objects for both artistic and practical applications.

Beginning students acquaint themselves with the care and use of hand tools, wood technologies, layout methods of wood joinery, and technical drawing methods appropriate to furniture making. They learn to safely use machine tools including the radial arm saw, table saw, joiner, planer, router and router table. Intermediate and advanced studies include the art of woodturning with a lathe, form and transformation, upholstery, construction techniques and the use of narrative in a functional form.

Slide lectures, research, discussions and projects enhance creative problem solving, technical proficiency, and personal expression. Presentation skills are developed through critique and discussion of completed assignments. Students are exposed to many diverse ideas and techniques that examine convention and challenge students to explore alternative materials, processes and forms. They are encouraged to integrate varied elements into their projects, including media from other concentrations.

Innovation and exploration lay the foundation each student builds upon to discover and cultivate the individual voice expressed through their work. Through intensive studio work, students are prepared to open their own studio, work in industry or pursue an advanced degree in the field.

Wood Studio Space
Bench room: Chisels; saws; planes; layout and forming tools; finishing and belt sanders; drills; routers; grinders.

Machine room: 20" and 14" bandsaws; 12" radial arm saw; and 10" compound power miter saw. Three 40" lathes; 20" and 15" planers; 8" and 16" joiners; horizontal slot mortiser; oscillating spindle sander; 12" disc sander; 6" belt sander; 2-stage compressor; spray booth with HVLP and conventional spray guns.

Course Descriptions
WD111 Introduction to Woodworking
| 3 semester credits
Through exploring the tools, processes, and skills necessary for using wood as an expressive and practical material, students have the opportunity to learn and practice subtractive and additive woodworking processes, creating wooden forms and basic furniture. While students are instructed in the proper use and maintenance of hand tools, they are also introduced to basic milling processes utilizing machine tools and are exposed to technical drawing, wooden joinery, surface preparation, and basic finishing techniques. No prerequisite.

WD112 Process and Practice | 3 semester credits
This foundation encompassing the processes and practices of woodworking expands on the previous semester in which students have the opportunity to learn and practice the safe and proper use of machine tools.  Emphasis throughout the course is placed on the construction of jigs to enhance the capabilities of woodworking tools and building processes. Wood technologies, technical drawing methods and joinery techniques that are appropriate to furniture making are highlighted. Preparations of surfaces for hand-applied, opaque, and pigmented finishes are also covered. Prerequisite: WD111.

WD201 Shape Form and Transformation | 3 semester credits
Building upon basic woodworking knowledge and skills, students are introduced to various methods of manipulating and shaping wooden forms. Creativity, innovation, and expression are encouraged, as students are asked to develop complex three-dimensional objects, while continuing to strengthen skills in planning and executing joinery, as well as other woodworking processes. Students also have the opportunity to explore the creation and use of mechanisms as integral components of their furniture projects. Prerequisite: WD 112 or consent of the instructor.

WD202 Vessels and Cabinetry | 3 semester credits
Through investigating conceptual and practical issues of containment, students are challenged to create meaningful and poetic spaces that investigate the use of narratives, metaphor, and artistic expressions through furniture form. Students have the opportunity to study and practice methods of cabinet and carcass construction, learning to create sculptural form as well as good cabinetry.  Prerequisite:  WD 112 or consent of the instructor.
WD303 System and Drawers | 3 semester credits
Exploring issues of function as well as personal expression, students are presented with an investigation into the design and construction of drawer and compartmental systems. Students are challenged to seek viable solutions through thorough and thoughtful design processes that are informed by material choices, building techniques, and purposeful intent. Students are expected to excel in the fabrication of wooden forms, while exploring the depth of their ideas. Prerequisite: WD 112 or consent of the instructor.

WD304 Chairs | 3 semester credits
Students have the opportunity to examine the quintessential, iconic piece of Western furniture through discussions of style, precedent, and ergonomics. Students are expected to develop thoughtful and conceptual based ideas, while investigating the tectonics and construction of chairs. This course is designed as a pre-thesis experience that challenges a student to seek the full potential of their ideas, concepts and designs, while demonstrating strong control of their medium. Prerequisite: WD 112 or consent of the instructor.

EC104WD EC204WD Woodturning | 3 semester credits
Utilizing the wood lathe in the investigation of form, this elective is designed for both beginning and intermediate students, in addressing the fundamental skills of woodturning as well as the proper use and maintenance of the requisite tools.
Beginning students have the opportunity to learn how to create both spindle and face plate turnings, while intermediate students can explore advanced techniques, resulting in more challenging assignments and projects. No prerequisite for WD104; WD104 is a prerequisite for WD204.

WD490/491 Wood Tutorial | 3 semester credits
Designed primarily for post-baccalaureate students, the opportunity is provided to work one-on-one with a faculty mentor, with the goal of gaining knowledge and insight that is unavailable in regularly scheduled courses. Together the student and faculty mentor develop a curriculum and appropriate assignments that addresses the student’s skill level, goals, and academic needs, while providing a rigorous and personal learning environment for the student.

Learn more about the College's programs of study:

Undergraduate programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Craft

The Certificate in Craft

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Craft (requires a bachelor's degree)

Graduate programs

Master of Fine Arts in Craft

Collaborative Masters of Fine Arts in Applied Craft + Design




Calendar Events

April 23, 2014 to April 27, 2014
Opening Reception April 23rd | 4-6pm

April 23, 2014

April 26, 2014
5:00 PM


MFA Chair Karl Burkheimer interviews Alumni Josh Smith in Drain Magazine

OCAC Students Selected as Finalists for 2014 NICHE Awards

OCAC Alumna Hilary Pfeifer Featured in American Craft Magazine

Noted contemporary artists Dana Schutz & Ryan Johnson Visit OCAC

Michael Lammers Joins Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, Oregon as Chief Financial Officer