Camp Bend-a-Bow 2016
This is a rare opportunity to work in the shop of an established maker and restorer of bows.
My general approach is to introduce people to methods I have developed over the years that work for me. With no more than 5 students per class I feel I can give everyone the attention they need to complete the course. All materials are supplied*.
This year we are featuring four separate courses, each specializing on one aspect of bow making:
April 25th - May 6th; 2 week course, $2,200
Once again we will offer our course in stick making. This is the most comprehensive two-week course ever offered. It will cover board layout and cutting. Blank grading and best uses of blanks as to violin, viola or cello. An overview of selecting a model as well as discussions of methods of graduations, weights, stiffness’s and balance for playability, followed by color enhancement and final finishing. All materials are included. You are encouraged to bring your own tools but tools will also be available for use. This allows you to try different tools from what you are accustomed to and see for yourself if a new tool is in your best interest. The course is limited to 5 people. Last year everyone left with a finished bow.
Lathe and Mill Operation for Bowmakers:
June 13th - 17th; 1 week course, $1,100
Unfortunately, many makers and repairers of bows lack the basic foundation of lathe and mill work that is a necessary part of our trade. Traditionally, bow makers could rely on the towns’ turners and tool smith. But today that is no longer the case and we are on our own. With this class you will build that basic foundation.
This course will cover button making, replacing screws & eyelets... even when the conditions are challenging... as well as introduce you to basic tool making. We have a number of machines for you to work on so that you can get a better idea of the cost, weight and space trade-offs of these different machines... from ultra precise machines that weigh close to a ton to machines you can pick up with one hand. Even if you’ve used machines for years, if you wish to increase your foundation and skills; are thinking of purchasing a machine for the first time or are considering an upgrade, this is a unique opportunity to get hands-on instruction on a wide variety of machines. (It also might also be a great time to rough out a number of buttons and make a few tools so that you can put off that decision until later.)
Individual Bowmaking / Repair:
June 20th -24th; 1 week course, 1,100
This course is for those who want individual & one-on-one instruction on specific goals such as camber adjustment, fitting a frog or cutting the chamfers on a bow head. Is there a specific aspect or technique of bow making you wish to learn or refine? Bring your questions!
August 15th - 26th; 2 week course, 2,100
With files, planes and hand saws. Although milling or having some one like Paulus taking a frog to whatever level you want is a good option (and used by many more modern bow makers who will ever admit), it is important to have the skills to make a frog by hand. This is not only for your own information but to be able to make a frog copy for an older stick and to learn the nuances the old masters by doing bench copies. A number of methods will be reviewed with their pros and cons. We will concentrate on a method I’ve developed that starts in control while still leaving some room for drifting.
Camp Bend-a-Bow. It’s not camping it’s Glamping!
Room & Board: Is available at a very reasonable cost. Meals will be made by my wife Meryl and served in our sun room Monday through Friday.
Unlike some courses you are welcome to arrive the day before the course and leave the day after it ends. Staying with us is not mandatory to attend the course. We have many beautiful State Parks close by, as well as wonderful B&B’s and fine restaurants. This is a beautiful part of the world and student's partners are also welcome.
For campers, each person has their own tent with a queen size air bed, sheets and comforter; a desk, chair and reading lamp; along with a place to hang and store your clothes.
There is a washer and drier available. You will have access to our spacious sunroom, where meals will be served and you can sit and read or talk with other students. Outside areas are also available for sitting and relaxing.
Board: $200 per week.
Meals will be served by my wife Meryl and they will be the best camp meals you will ever have. Three meals per day, 5 days a week. This is fine food not swine food. Far from cafeteria/buffet style. Meryl has served politicians from first ladies to speakers of the house; and celebrities from Robin Williams to George Lucas. While you won’t be treated like Royals, it is a long, long way from the corner diner.
$325 per week.
To sign up or for more information, call 707-937-0570
*I supply the materials for a couple of reasons:
The classes are limited to 5 students so that lots of personal attention can be given.
- I have been in classes that sell you every little piece that you didn’t bring and I find these transactions very disruptive to the general flow of the class.
- I also want to be certain that the materials you are working with are of a high quality and are in a form that we don’t spend a lot of time removing 3mm of wood just to get to the starting point.
- I also am not trying to sell you a bunch of tools. I encourage people to bring what tools they have at the same time providing tools that I use to see if they make a positive difference. If you like what I have at the end of the course, if it is something I sell, I’ll be happy to sell you one. If I don’t sell them I will be glad to share my supplier with you.
High quality sticks and silver mounted frogs and buttons will be supplied.
Bring what tools you have but other tools will be available for your use.
View from the Little River Inn about one mile away.
View of the Village of Mendocino about 4 miles away.