Our Instructors

We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We look forward to building with you.

Corey Anderson

Woodturning Expert

Corey  is passionate about woodturning. He has been practicing this unique combination of art and craft for more than 20 years. It’s his goal to not only refine and master the techniques of woodturning, but to share his knowledge and enthusiasm – helping beginning students produce one-of-a-king bowls, goblets, plates, or writing pens.

He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Woodturners and was President of his local chapter, when living in Connecticut. He has traveled to New Zealand twice, to participate in COLLABORATIONZ, their biennial art event in Whangarei Heads.

“I find woodturning to be a passion, a source of energy, happiness and incredibly satisfying part of my life. I enjoy standing at a wood lathe, with a piece of wood attached to it, listening to the Spirit in the wood and in a relatively short time have a beautiful object of Art and Craft created before my eyes.”

Jim Anderson

Shaker Box and Carving Expert

Jim developed an interest in woodworking over 60 years ago! His woodworking activities waxed and wained over the years until his retirement in 2010.  Since then he has become proficient in several areas.  Those include Shaker Box making,  Norwegian “tina’ box making, and Scandinavian shrink pot carving (Krympburkar). He has studied sloyd woodworking with Jogge Sundqvist and Scandinavian bentwood boxes with Howard Bitzer. He recently studied steam bending techniques with Charlie Whinney.

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Ron McClellan

Woodcarving Expert

Ron McClellan began his adventure with wood carving when he was about 15 years old and observed a man carve a teddy bear with his pocket knife. He attempted to do the same, but with very little success. He continued trying different knives and woods, still with little success. In 1997 he that found a master wood carver from the White Heath, Illinois area would be teaching classes at the Urbana Adult Education program.

Dick Branch taught this class in the fall of 1997 and in the spring of 1998. Each class was 6 weeks and covered all aspects of carving. Since that class he has taken classes with professional carvers from around the country. (John Engler, relief carving) (Phil & Vicki Bishop, Caricature carving), (Caricature carvers of America member Ron Dowdy carving exaggerated realism). All of this has lead to approximately 20 years of learning a hobby and art form he truly enjoys.

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Joe Meyer

Welding and Forging Expert

Joe Meyer is a welding and industrial technology teacher at Champaign Central High School. He teaches basic elements of forging mild steel for ornamental purposes as a part of his introductory welding classes, and he does some green wood carving for fun.

The natural extension and blending of these two interests led him to forging sloyd carving tools. Joe is lucky to have four kids and a great wife to travel, fish, hunt, hike, read, and cook with.

Bruce Scism

Composer, Performer and Luthier

Bruce Scism is a composer, performer and luthier currently living in Nashville, TN. Bruce has led a life as an educator. He rose to the position of President of Danville Community College (Virginia) in 2013. During his tenure as President he saw to the development of new programs leading to new employment opportunities for students. These included a power substation electrician program, robotics and automation program, an on-campus cosmetology lab and program, but most importantly for us was the development of a 2 semester luthier program. Bruce studied to be a luthier with Robbie Obrien, of Obrien Guitar in Denver, CO, and the founder of the Lutherie Program in the Fine Woodworking Department at Red Rocks Community College in Denver, CO. Bruce retired from Danville Community College at the end of 2018 making it possible to bring his experience as an educator and as a luthier to our acoustic guitar class.

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Vicky Smith

Woodworking Expert

Vicky has been involved in some kind of woodworking off and on for 55 years, since her father gave her a mini shopsmith for Christmas.  He gave her his real one when she graduated from the U of Illinois.  Since then she has explored everything from building telephone pole playgrounds to Maloof rocking chairs and turned ornaments.

Still most of her time has been spent remaking parts for our 1902 home. Duplicating trim and balusters, and other impossible to find pieces to restore an antique house. Her daughter keeps her busy in between the big stuff with things like an assortment of Pikler climbing furniture for her grandchildren.

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Hugh Swiatek

Master of Architecture

Hugh Swiatek earned his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduating, he continued as the Fabrication Coordinator for the School of Architecture, running the school’s wood shop and fabrication lab. He has taught design studios and workshops in furniture design at the University of Illinois and is a lecturer in the School of Architecture.

His work has been featured in numerous publications and has been exhibited in the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois. In addition to teaching, Hugh has worked as an architectural designer in Maine and Central Illinois. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, climbing and spending time outdoors with his wife and children.

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Mike Haney

Technology Gremlin

Do not expose to bright light, do not get wet, and never feed after midnight…

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