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Save the Date for IPTW 2014: "Kickin' it Old School"

IPTW 2014 - "Kickin' it Old School", St. Clairsville, OH

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The 18th annual International Preservation Trades Workshop
St. Clairsville, Ohio - September 12-13

This year's IPTW will return to Belmont College, home of the Building Preservation/Restoration (BPR) program, of the oldest and most recognized programs of its kind in the nation, and host of IPTW 2005. Over 30 preservation trades specialists will be “Kicking it Old School,” in fields ranging from masonry to historic metalwork, from stained glass to traditional wood framed window restoration, from plaster casting to decorative finishes. These demonstrators will be providing hands-on, interactive demonstrations to over 300 attendees in ten different tracks so there is always something going on. This fun-filled, two-day event will also include a number of extended, day-long demonstrations and the very first ever: Traditional Trades Obstacle Course. read more

Pre-conference workshops are planned for lead safe certification. If you would like to attend a refresher course on lead certification please let us know and we can see if we can work that in. Interested demonstrators should contact Dave Mertz as soon as possible to learn about track options and potential demonstration topics and fill out a demonstration proposal form.

Register now, and start saving up your goodies for the auction!

Please come and join us for two days of fun and excitement. We guarantee that even the most accomplished craftspeople will learn something new!

Click on the link below to register now!

Other News and Events

Call for Applications for the PTN Board of Directors

It’s that time again: all prospective candidates for open positions on the PTN Board, please step forward!

You may fill out an application online. Completed applications will be accepted through Sunday, August 24.

The application will ask for some biographical information, and offer you the opportunity to tell voters why they should want you representing their interests on the Board.

To qualify as a Board Director, you must be a PTN member in good standing (no unpaid dues). Directors are required to participate in monthly meetings, conducted by telephone conference call (currently on the 3rd Thursday of each month). Director’s meet together twice a year, once at a winter retreat to plan the year, and again at the annual Member’s Business Meeting, held at the IPTW. (PTN does not cover Directors’ travel expenses.)

Much of the work of the organization is accomplished through committees and task forces between monthly Board meetings. Our bylaws require at least 2 Directors on each committee, so one of those usually chairs the group, and prepares a simple status report prior to each monthly board meeting. Other PTN members, however, may chair or participate on committees, or on task forces focused on a single issue or event, and are encouraged to do so. One of the expectations of a Director is the recruitment of members to work with the board in that capacity.

So, think about what you like about your organization now. Continuing that requires dedicated and enthusiastic people. Think about anything new you’d like your PTN to offer to members. Then think about how you might personally be able to help. That might be as a member of a committee, or leading a task force to accomplish a specific task, or writing a newsletter article, or sending some great photos to share in the newsletter, or as a Board member. Talk to Directors at the IPTW about issues that are important to you, and that idea you have that might be accomplished in a few weeks by a small group of members, or getting involved with planning the next IPTW, or submitting an application for one of those open positions on your Board of Directors.

Newsflash: We have a new newsletter editor!

Many thanks to member Alison Hardy, owner of Window Woman of New England who has stepped forth to edit the print newsletter.  She will assume her responsibilities with the next newsletter as the current version is currently going to the printer.  Many Thanks!



Job Openings

Members: This is a great opportunity to reach out to your peers for help in filling job openings. Just contact the office with your positions.

A museum in the Washington DC area has contacted PTN looking for professionals can clean artifacts of all types. If you can provide this service or know of people or firms in that area who may be able to assist, please contact the PTN office at 866-853-9335 for further information. We are also awaiting more details on an Historic Preservation Maintenance Supervisor position in Arizona. Please contact the office for more details.


Upcoming Events

Trowel Trades Workshop - Theory & Practice, May 16-18, Charleston, SC POSTPONED due to insufficient registration. Check back for new dates.

Join us for a multi-faceted workshop which will include components of both theory and practice as they relate to the trowel trades. Topics covered will include bond patterns and their characteristics, the material, science and practice for the use of gypsum plaster to produce a length of run molding, and the basics of design theory relative to these trades, The workshop will be led by Patrick Webb along with Michael Lauer and Charles Shuler, all from the American College of the Building Arts. Stephen Hartley will be the speaker at the opening lecture on Friday evening. Proceeds from the workshop will go to the PTN regional events fund.

HistoriCorps is an organization that works with partners and volunteers to preserve public historic sites across the country. A few of their upcoming volunteer opportunities for 2014 are listed below. For more information about HistoriCorps and a complete list of events, and/or if you would like to engage in one of their projects, please visit the website for more information.



PTN Annual Member Meeting at IPTW 2014

The Annual Meeting of PTN members will be held on Saturday, September 13, during the IPTW. This is your opportunity to meet your Directors, and learn what the Board has been doing in response to concerns expressed at the 2013 meeting, suggestions and comments shared by members throughout the year, and those projects and issues Directors identified as something on which they especially wanted to work over the past year. You may also speak with candidates in the upcoming election to fill open board seats. (See “How to Become a Director of PTN” elsewhere in this newsletter, if you would like to become a candidate.)

Another item on the agenda will be a discussion of how members can be directly involved in the management of PTN, without the full responsibilities of a Director. Opportunities exist to be part of the activities relating to where PTN is going, and how to get there, while preserving the best of what we are, and have been.

For example, are you interested in how we can employ the latest in technology to communicate with members and others? Would you like to be part of developing local and regional PTN supported events? Do you have a passion to pass traditional preservation skills on to a new generation of craftsmen, through anything from hands-on demonstrations, to formal apprenticeships, to broadcast webinars? Do you have some brilliant (or possibly even crazy) idea of how PTN can be more relevant, more effective, or just “more” of what you would like it to be?  We have a place for you.

You might lead or participate on a committee or a task force. You might want to present a new idea to the Board, or to a committee, or to an individual Director. This is your PTN. As Gandhi wrote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  

Your continued membership is key to our success!

Your annual PTN membership dues form the basis of our day-to-day operations so please remember to renew!  If everyone can sign up 2 more members we will be well on our way to having paid staff once again.  Your support makes it all possible.

Annual BOD Face-to-Face meeting in St. Clairsville, Ohio

After being rescheduled due to weather in December, the board of directors held their face-to-face meeting at Belmont College in St. Clairsville, Ohio, March 28-29th. Dave Mertz and the staff of the Belmont college Building Preservation/Restoration program welcomed the board to the site of IPTW/ITES 2014 for an intensive weekend of event and PTN planning discussions. The board delved into board operations and committees (where we really need your participation), also membership benefits and the operating model for PTN. We are looking at ways to provide more benefits to members and ways to expand membership so that we can better covering our operating costs during the year.

Left to right PTN board members Zak Dunne, Andy Roeper, Sarah Jackson, Bob Zoni, Sam Newton and Dave Mertz


The PTN Communications Committee Needs You

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.” Stewart Brand

“A network is a possibility factory.” Kevin Kelly

Do you blog, tweet or pin? Do you know your Klout score? Whether you’re a tech wizard or a confirmed Luddite we’re looking for creative, enthusiastic people to serve on the PTN Communications Committee and help spread the message about PTN online and in print. PTN is currently engaged in discussions with a developer to rebuild our tired and antiquated website on a new content management system, and we’re seizing the opportunity to breathe new life into our social networking presence and print publications. Initial goals for the committee are to:

  • Develop and implement an effective social media strategy for PTN’s online presence (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other platforms).
  • Create and curate content and news of interest to PTN members and the traditional trades community.
  • Help develop PTN graphic identity for marketing and events.
  • Review and beta-test the new PTN website once development begins.

Committee members will take part in a scheduled monthly teleconference to develop ideas, set goals and make recommendations to the Board, as well as taking on various roles in developing and posting content and information. If you’re interested in an opportunity to help promote PTN and the traditional trades in creative and innovative ways contact Lisa Sasser.

Contact PTN for information on other committees and ways to get involved!

IPTW 2013 - Frederick, Maryland

Response to IPTW 2013 Frederick, Maryland, September 6-7, was fantastic. Everyone had a great time and can't wait for the next one. This wouldn't have been possible without the support of the Historic Preservation Training Center of the National Park Service - our host and prime supporter for this event. From the pre conference workshops on gravestone repair and dry stone work to the vendor and demonstrator reception to the jam packed schedule of demonstrations and activities there wasn't a moment to spare. Excellent weather, a first-ever casting of the Askins awards plaque on-site, the most well attended and engaged member meeting in memory and a great set of walking tours really complimented the event. Special thanks to Moss Rudley as the epitome of the local organizer making the event happen.

Next year IPTW 2014 will be at Belmont College in St. Clairsville, Ohio in mid-September.

Duffy Hoffman - 2013 Askins Achievement Award Recipient

One of the highlights of IPTW 2013, the annual International Preservation Trades Workshop in Friederick, Maryland was the presentation of the Askins Achivement Award to Duffy Hoffman of Hoffman Painting and Refinishing. The Askins Achievement Award is named in honor of James S. (Jim) Askins, founder of the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center and recognizes contributions over and above the noteworthy. The award criteria includes contributions to the preservation trades for: the continuance of traditional building skills, advocacy of training in preservation trades, practicing a building trade at master level of skill and knowledge, and extraordinary effort given to advancing the awareness of traditional building trade skills and knowledge. Read more about the Askins Achievement Award and past recipients.

Nomination Statement by David Gibney:

Duffy Hoffman has been a loyal and active member of PTN since its inception. PTN’s original goals clearly went straight to Duffy’s heart.While already owning a successful painting business, Duffy shifted to learning correct historic painting techniques and methods for restoring finishes on historic structures. His business and all of his teaching activities have centered on that ever since. He is a passionate advocate, sometimes maybe too passionate, but his energy is unbounded.

His goal in life is clearly to promote the historic trades by using his expertise in painting and other restoration skills to educate anyone who is interested in learning, and even those who aren’t!

He is constantly thinking about how he can involve and inspire people, especially young people, to learn about the importance of restoring historic structures correctly. He has been a constant voice, and a loud one, at PTN events for including the youth. He has spent many months trying to start internship and education programs, especially for underprivileged youth or youth who need an occupation. In Elkins, WV he was involved in the Riverside School Project Youth Empowered Solutions to use an empty building to start a job education program for the youth of the area with historic restoration techniques as part of the curriculum. It is still there and he and I will be teaching workshops there this summer.

Duffy has taught myriad workshops, many at no charge. He has produced a video illustrating correct painting restoration techniques. He makes himself available whenever he is needed to reach and teach homeowners, groups and especially young people how to treat historic structures and how important it is to save them. He has appeared on HGTV’s Restore America and in Old House Journal and Fine Homebuilding. Duffy is a mile a minute talker and can be very forceful in expressing his opinions, but no one can doubt his dedication to the historic trades and the educational goals of PTN. Even when he had a serious stroke, he came back, refusing to let his physical weakness stop his mental insistence on promoting PTN’s goals.

I can personally attest to the fact that Duffy is literally thinking (and talking!) about how he can help youth and PTN from the moment he wakes up every day. It is clearly his main goal in life. I have also been involved in PTN since its inception and I have watched all of the leading characters through the years. We are a group of skilled and opinionated artisans and PTN has gone through many changes and regroupings, but Duffy is one of the strong old guys who started and then stayed with PTN and he deserves to be awarded the Askins Award for his constant faith and attention to the goals of PTN.

Do you know where you are today?

Quite often folks ask, "What is the benefit of PTN?" Well, a benefit of membership in any community network is going to be in direct proportion to how involved you are in your community. Like this, if there is a PTN member near you then chances are pretty good that you are both interested in fixing up old buildings with tools and stuff like that. Reach out and contact them and see if they would like to share with you in a coffee/green tea/meditation/roach-coach break and talk about old buildings, the world, shop-talk, the weather, or how to do stuff like sharpen knives, cut stone, break bread, build bonfires, solder or glaze a window. So, the first benefit of PTN membership is the people that you get to meet. And in case you may wonder where all of these people are at, here is a map:

View Preservation Trades Network in a larger map


PTN Mission: “To empower the traditional building trades through network, good works, community, fellowship and education.”

The essential element of the Preservation Trades Network is the network. Why should we network? Because it empowers us in our lives, it reinforces and builds upon our individual talents and our personal values. It manifests through our ability and willingness to connect and share openly with others that takes us beyond our individual selves. Though membership is an important element of a healthy community, a network goes the next step and the next steps onward beyond the immediate community. To network is to continually reach out to other people and to new territory beyond ourselves.

Good Works
We intend through the practice of our combined trades to leave something of value behind us in the built environment, but more importantly we intend to honor values of traditional trade practice in our lives, in our teaching of others, and through our good works. Though we intend to do good work in our individual professions, the effect of good works is that as a community we provide something of value to enhance and celebrate the human condition within the cultural heritage of the built environment.

We do not build and rebuild alone. We build with friends regardless if they be from any walk of life, any country, trade or profession. We share and bond in our experience of working together and with our coming together to build and rebuild we build community. We share of ourselves within community and live fully through our sense of service to our community.

We strive to know each other within our particular trade interest, but more importantly to know and to recognize each other across the interests of many variations of traditional trade practice, personal interests and diversity of professions.

We want to teach others and we ourselves want to learn from each other and from others.

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