Community Education Instructors
North Bennet Street School Community Education instructors are the finest teachers and makers in their fields. Many are graduates of NBSS, and all have extensive, practical experience outside of the classroom. Below is a selection of instructors, past and present, who have shared their knowledge with our diverse community.
Jeff is the head of the NBSS Bookbinding department, a 2003 graduate of the American Academy of Bookbinding, and an alumnus of the NBSS program. After completing the NBSS program in 1999, Jeff worked at Harcourt Bindery and Harvard University’s Tozzer Library. He is a past chair of the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers and operates a bindery in Somerville, Massachusetts specializing in leather bindings and boxes.
Grant is a custom furniture maker working out of Charlestown Furniture Makers in Charlestown, MA. He is a 2017 graduate of the Cabinet & Furniture Making program and was the first ever recipient of the Alden Artisan Advancement from the New Hampshire Furniture Masters. A Marine Corps veteran, prior to attending NBSS Grant received his AST in Construction Technology from Triangle Tech in Pittsburgh. Grant has been featured in Fine Woodworking, Popular Woodworking, and Pittsburgh magazine for his furniture designs.
Ann Cahoon JM ’02
Ann is a graduate of the Jewelry Making & Repair program and is a former Department Head and Instructor. She was a finalist in the gold and platinum category of the 2010 Saul Bell Awards. She works on one-of-a-kind and limited production jewelry as a principal goldsmith and designer in Leominster, MA. Ann also writes and lectures for the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America (MJSA). She is the technical co-editor of the MJSA book “Secret Shop Weapons” and is featured in an instructional DVD produced by Lapidary Journal.
Since graduating from North Bennet Street School in 2009, Eli has been working as a custom furniture maker in the Greater Boston Area. For five years, he worked on the PBS series Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac, with preparation and behind-the-scenes work taking 5-6 months per each season. Eli has taught the Three-Month Furniture Making Intensive, Introduction to SketchUp, and also spends his time creating custom furniture for clients.
Janet Collins has been a professional woodworker and woodturner since graduating from the Cabinet and Furniture Making program at North Bennet Street School in 1996. She has developed and taught many of the woodworking and woodturning workshops at North Bennet Street School. Currently she teaches woodworking full time at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.
Dan Faia CF ’94
Dan is a 1994 graduate of the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program and is a former Department Head of the program. Dan designed the curriculum for several NBSS workshops including the current three-month furniture intensive. Prior to joining the NBSS faculty, he work with master craftsmen Phil Lowe CF ’74 and Ron Trapasso CF ’69. When Dan isn’t teaching or making furniture in his New Hampshire shop, he enjoys writing and has published numerous articles in Fine Woodworking magazine.
Samuel trained at NBSS and has been in private practice since graduating in June 2012. He specializes in fine bindings, gold finishing, new bindings in period style, and luxury clamshell boxes.
Jeff is a woodcarver living in Northern Virginia. His work is featured in Wayne Barton’s The Art of Chip Carving: Award Winning Designs, the premier professional chip carver’s book.
Erin was first introduced to the craft of bookbinding while obtaining her BFA at The School of the Art Institute (SAIC) of Chicago. Erin continued her bookbinding training through the full-time program at NBSS, where she graduated in 2012. Her business, Herringbone Bindery, was established in 2012, creating one-of-a-kind fine bindings along with edition binding and box making. In addition to being a Community Education Instructor at NBSS she is also a Middle School Book Arts Instructor.
Matt Frechette CA ’16, CF ’18
Matt is a recent graduate of the Carpentry program at NBSS and is currently continuing his studies in Cabinet & Furniture Making. He not only brings his skills to Introduction to Framing and woodworking courses, but has assisted with the Madison Park High School summer carpentry program.
Rich started out with two boards, his dad’s hammer and handful of nails, determined to build something. He built a chair with two pieces of wood he dragged around his parents back yard one afternoon. Twenty five years later, after leaving the printing trade, he started building again and completed in two national woodturning competitions, placing 3rd in 2000 and 1st in 2002. He graduated from the Preservation Carpentry program in 2004, and occasionally teaches woodworking and carpentry classes.
Peter Galbert is a full time chairmaker, toolmaker, teacher and writer. Before specializing in chairs, Peter Galbert worked as a cabinet and furniture maker in New York City. He has taught at many craft schools around the country, including NBSS and other schools in the US and abroad. Besides making chairs and teaching, Peter also writes the Chairnotes blog, and produces the Galbert Caliper as well as other woodworking tools. In 2015, he published his first book, “Chairmaker’s Notebook,” with Lost Art Press.
As a feminist, Paula was excited to be among the earliest women to train in carpentry at the North Bennet Street Industrial School in the late 1970s. She then worked as a cabinetmaker and shop foreman, learning accuracy and efficiency through challenging manual labor. In 1986, Paula returned to NBSS to attend the Cabinet & Furniture Making program, pursuing the study and building of 17th through 19th century furniture. Subsequently she began a custom furniture making business, teaching occasionally and later full time for five years at NBSS. Her work has been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions.
Andy is the Woodcraft Supervisor at Berea College in central Kentucky, where he leads students through the design, fabrication and finish of small wooden craft and furniture pieces. A 2008 Cabinet & Furniture Making graduate, Andy then spent the next nine years working in woodworking shops in Massachusetts and Maine designing and building custom pieces, building custom cabinetry, and teaching workshops at NBSS. View Andy’s work.
Laura Goffin CF ’17
Laura Goffin is a Canadian furniture maker and graduate of the Cabinet & Furniture making program. She has a BFA in sculpture and painting, as well as a BA in Classical Studies from the University of Western Ontario. She teaches both adult Community Education classes and in the middle school program. She is a current member of Fort Point Cabinetmakers in the Innovation and Design Building in the Seaport.
Maryanne is a calligrapher, graphic designer, and book artist. She is the owner of The Abbey Studio in Hingham, Massachusetts. Maryanne studied under Sheila Waters and Jeanyee Wong and at Parsons School of Design and Hood College. She is the author of Calligraphy: a Course in Hand Lettering.
Bill is a special collections conservation technician for Harvard Library at the Weissman Preservation Center in Cambridge, MA; coordinator and instructor for the Book Arts BFA program at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA; and an independent workshop instructor. He is a 2008 graduate of the Book Arts/Printmaking MFA program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He has essays included in Volumes 3 and 4 of the Suave Mechanicals: Essays on the History of Bookbinding series published by The Legacy Press in 2016.
Judith Hanson CF ’94
Judith is a 1994 graduate of the NBSS Cabinet and Furniture Making program, and in 2005 she received a BA in Sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is a Studio Manager of the MassArt Woodshop and has her own shop space in West Concord, MA. She also teaches the Fine Art of Furniture I and II for the Furniture Design Certificate Program, a collaboration between NBSS and MassArt.
Originally from NY (both state and city), Kelly has worked in the skilled trades of house painting, mold making and bartending. With a passion for education (traditional and non-traditional alike) she has begun assisting Community Education classes in woodworking, and volunteer teaches for a middle school woodshop class. In addition to her training at NBSS, she has also completed the 12 week furniture intensive at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, ME.
Tim Harrington CF ’18
Tim graduated from University of Massachusetts of Lowell in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology, and worked for Texas instruments on semiconductor design until he retired in 2014. He is a 2018 graduate of the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program and is now a self-employed furniture maker in Franklin, Massachusetts.
Miranda Harter JM ’16
David has been making bows for about 40 years, starting with a William Salchow workshop in Saratoga Springs, NY when he was 18. He grew up playing violin, then switched to guitar around 14; he went on to study Jazz Guitar at Berklee College of Music. David attended the New England Conservatory in Jazz Guitar again, and took a second Master’s degree in Composition. He continues to make bows in his shop in Cambridge, both modern and pre-modern.
Ellen is a custom furniture maker and graduate of the Cabinet & Furniture Making program. She owns Ellen Kaspern Design and is a member of the cooperative Charlestown Furniture Makers in Boston, MA. In addition to designing and building custom furniture, she has been teaching woodworking and furniture making for 20 years. Her workshop teaching experience includes NBSS, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Yestermorrow Design Build School and Florida School of Woodwork. Ellen has given talks and demonstrations at the National Museum of Industrial Industry, Boston Design Week, Boston Athenaeum, Peabody Essex Museum, Old Sturbridge Village and Society of Arts & Crafts. She has written articles for Fine Woodworking Magazine and Woodcraft Magazine, and many of her lessons are featured in instructional videos for Fine Woodworking Magazine.
Martha Kearsley BB ’95
Alan has been involved in the wood turning field for more than 35 years as a turner, teacher, writer, exhibition coordinator, expert witness, demonstrator and past president of the American Association of Woodturners. His work has appeared in a number of regional and national exhibitions.
Amy graduated from the NBSS Bookbinding program in 1995 and is a founding member of The Three Ring Binders in Somerville, Massachusetts. Amy’s interests include modernizing historic bindings working with artists to help them translate their visions into book form.
Brock Leiendecker PC ’16
Brock graduated from the School’s Preservation Carpentry program, and has worked on a variety of preservation and building projects throughout New England. He is an instructor in our full-time Carpentry program, and previously served as an assistant in both the Carpentry and Preservation Carpentry programs.
Linda Lembke is a hand bookbinder who incorporates traditional and experimental approaches to limited edition binding and boxmaking at her home studio, Green River Bindery, in Guilford, Vermont. She works frequently on bookmaking projects with students, teachers, and artists.
Kate graduated from the NBSS Bookbinding program in 2017. She now works at the Weissman Preservation Center at Harvard University and is currently the Program Co-Chair for the New England chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. She runs a bindery out of Third Year Studios in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston where she shares space with three fellow graduates of NBSS.
Mechelle Lois JM ’14
Tim began his spoon-carving career on a stump behind his college dorm. His obsession led him to live and work with Curtis Buchanan in Tennessee, learning to make Windsor chairs. Working with Curtis in his small chair shop gave Tim a life-changing model of how to run a small production workshop; he’s been building his life around that model ever since. Working out of a small workshop in Maine, Tim produces tools, makes Windsor and ladderback chairs, and continues to obsessively carve spoons.
Colleen Matthews JM ’12
Brian McQuay CF ’04
Brian is a 2004 graduate of the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program and is a self-employed furnituremaker and restorer in Boston.
Ryan is a fine furniture and chairmaker located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Formal training at NBSS provided a wide skill-set which, blended with his artistic talents, has enabled him to create beautiful and intricate custom pieces. Ryan enjoys solving the challenges involved in the planning, designing and building of beautiful furniture.
Bob is a custom furniture maker and woodworker based in Charlestown, creating a range of often sustainable custom work from small accessory items to custom furniture. He helps clients to create the perfect design addition to their world, in addition to his own line of work. Bob is the NBSS Community Education Technician, and also manages the Charlestown Furniture Makers, an 18 tenant co-op and solar-powered woodshop located in the Sullivan Square area of Charlestown.
Jamey Pope CF ’06
Jamey is a 2006 graduate and Instructor in the Cabinet & Furniture Making program. Before becoming a custom furniture maker, Jamey was a general contractor. He currently manages a multi-tenant shop in West Concord, MA where he builds custom projects and musical instruments.
James studied Bookbinding at NBSS and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006. He spent thirty years as a conservator at Harvard University and the Boston Athenaeum. He is now a conservator in private practice in Cambridge, MA.
Regina and Dan St. John of Chena River Marblers have been full-time professional marblers for over 32 years. Their main product is marbled paper and they specialize in marbling the edges of books. Regina and Dan are committed to teaching their craft to others in order to inspire a new generation of marblers. One of their main objectives is the preservation and survival of this unique art form which has beautified books for centuries.
Emily Townsend PT ’07, PA ’08
Emily is a graduate and Instructor of the NBSS Basic and Advanced Piano Technology programs, and a Registered Piano Technician. She also holds a degree in piano performance from Trinity University. Emily has served as head technician at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and as a concert technician at both Aspen Music Festival and School and Tanglewood. She now runs her own tuning and rebuilding business.
Matt Wajda CF ’00
Matt is a 2000 graduate of the Cabinet & Furniture Making program and became an Instructor in 2017. His also runs a custom furniture making business, Piscataqua Design, LLC, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He is active in commission and design work and has clients throughout the east coast. Matt’s work is often exhibited in galleries in Portsmouth and Boston.