Cardboard Turning Pioneer Visits the School of Art and Design

Recently the Woodworking and Furniture Design studio areas hosted visiting artist Jason Schneider. Schneider is the studio coordinator of the furniture design and woodworking program at The Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado. Schneider’s work and artistic research has long included the use of cardboard. Schneider is one of few furniture makers working with cardboard as a primary material and he has developed many of his own techniques for working and turning cardboard.

While on campus, Schneider provided a demonstration of cardboard turning for upper-level students, the current woodturning and bending class (AD 224), as well as members of the Superiorland Woodturners. Schneider was also able to meet with upper-level furniture and woodworking students to provide valuable feedback about their portfolios and professional work. Schneider’s energy in the shop was apparent for weeks after his visit, with many students considering new approaches to materials and working practices.

Jason Schneider

The Anderson Ranch Art Center

Woodworking and Furniture Design


Student Work Selected for Exhibition at ICFF 2013 New York

Senior Furniture Design student, Brendan Solinsky was among 12 students from across the country selected to exhibit work at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York. As part of a call for entries hosted by the Furniture Society and sponsored by Powermatic, selected student’s work will be on display at ICFF May 18-21. As a part of the work being on view in New York, Powermatic has also created an online gallery and competition with voting for “The People’s Choice Award.” The student receiving the most votes will win a Powermatic bandsaw.

“Table Chair” by Solinsky, features a design focused for a small space and serves as multi-functional furniture. “Table Chair” can be repositioned into a variety of forms, a feature Solinsky identified as “a major concern in small living environments”. Solinsky’s work can be voted for as part of the Powermatic competition. Voting will expire on May 20th when the winner of the competition will be announced.

Student Competition Online Gallery

International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Woodworking and Furniture Design


Visiting Artist Professor Cory Robinson Presents Lectures and Critiques

The Woodworking and Furniture Design program recently hosted visiting artist, Cory Robinson, the first of several artists slated to visit the school over the next few years because of a newly funded grant. Robinson is the current Chair of Fine Art at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition to his teaching, Robinson is a full time furniture maker and his work is show nationally. Robinson is currently on sabbatical and will be exploring new work in time spent at The Haystack Mountain School of Crafts as well as The Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

During his brief visit to the school, Robinson presented a lecture on his work, hosted individual critiques with students and participated in an ongoing project that is part of the Devos Art Museum’s current exhibition “You Complete Me.”

Cory Robinson

Woodworking and Furniture Design


Senior Woodworking Student Selected as a Winner of the NICHE Award 2011

Senior Woodworking student Hans Gottsacker was selected as a Winner of the NICHE Award 2011 in the student wood category. His vessel and utensils were selected for this award from an international competition that included finalists from Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of the Arts.

NICHE magazine was founded for the purpose of connecting art galleries and craft retailers with the finest wholesale crafts, handmade gifts and decorative art objects made in artist studios throughout the United States and Canada.

Sponsored annually by NICHE magazine, the NICHE Awards program began in 1989 to celebrate excellence and innovation for both production and limited-edition craft works in American and Canadian fine craft. Artists are recognized in professional and student divisions.

NICHE Awards 2011



Furniture Design Program Rated Tops in the Times Good University Guide

The Good University Guide of the Times of London has named the Furniture Design program of the School of Art and Design at NMU as one of the top programs in the world. Included in this list are the university of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Indiana University-Purdue, Indianapolis and Kingston University, London. Professor William Leete, who is the head of both the Furniture Design and Woodworking studio areas, stated that he was surprised and delighted by the recognition of the Good University Guide, but understands how this program would receive such a high ranking as its students have been successful throughout the country for many years as designers, craftspeople and entrepreneurs.

The Good University Guide of the Times of London

Furniture Design


Professor Leete Selected for the Challenge VII: dysFUNctional Exhibition

Professor William Leete has been selected along with 30 international artists to participate in the exhibition Challenge VII: dysFUNctional sponsored by the Wood Turning Center. Challenge VII twists functional design into dysfunctional contemporary art. The artists designed components that work with and against each other’s in content, form, surface and movement-evoking humor, curiosity and suspicion. Challenge VII continues the series initiated by the Center in 1987. The mission of the Challenge series is to invite artists to free themselves to create a piece of unique and unexpected work that they never take time to make. William Leete states about his sculpture work Soul Seat: “Chairs have long been recognized as emblematic of the physical body, even of human expression and culture. Soul Seat embodies a sense of aspiration and pathos and of the interior self that others can never experience. The nature of the soul is a conundrum that each of us can solve for ourselves”. Artists from Australia, Canada, England, France, Italy and the United States are included in the exhibition. Challenge VII: dysFUNctional will be presented at the Wood Turning Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from October 2, 2008 through January 17, 2009, followed by a three-year national tour.

Challenge VII: dysFUNctional 2008 Exhibit


Furniture Design