Job Posting: Preservation Carpentry Instructor

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North Bennet Street School (NBSS), a traditional trades career training school in Boston, seeks an experienced preservation carpenter and instructor in the two -year preservation carpentry program to begin in August 2015. The program teaches adults entering the trade the theory and practice of residential construction and preservation carpentry working both in the shop and on historic structures in the greater Boston area using traditional and modern tools and machines. 

The ideal candidate is an organized and thoughtful teacher who is committed to high-quality work and is capable of teaching adults of varying abilities and experience. Prior teaching experience is preferred. 

The instructor is responsible for preparation and presentation of all material. The methods of teaching include lecture, demonstration and directed projects within the classroom/shop and in the field. In addition to classroom and shop work, the class completes on-site projects working on historic buildings. The instructor is responsible for evaluating student performance by quizzes and practical projects. Two full-time instructors teach 26 students in the two-year program. For most of the academic year, the students are separated into first- and second-year classes of 13 students, ages 18 and older. Students come to the program with a range of woodworking experience. This instructor works primarily with second-year students. 

In addition to teaching and evaluating students, the instructor works with the department head on machine maintenance, budget management, project management, van use and scheduling, and attends regular faculty meetings. 

The ideal candidate has experience teaching as well as experience with job site management, basic carpentry skills, traditional hand tool use, woodworking machine use and maintenance and is familiar with traditional building materials, methods and history. Experience with timber-framing and wood turning helpful. 

Salary commensurate with experience. Health, retirement and other benefits are available. 

This information is also on the school’s website at www.nbss.edu/jobs. Send letter of interest and resume to jobs@nbss.edu.

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An Interview with Andrea Sevonty

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How did you get involved in window restoration?

I got into it by accident, trying to fix a window in my apartment in 2007.  I was studying public history and historic preservation at Western Michigan University at Kalamazoo, MI.  Two months from graduation, I got into this stuff and became fascinated by the hands on work.  I realized I needed more information and I wasn’t prepared to enter a Master’s program at that time, so I enrolled at Belmont.  Heard about Belmont through Sharon Ferraro who she had interned with (City of Kalamazoo HP Coordinator).  Went to visit Belmont that summer and moved back to Detroit and was working on the windows of the house I was working in at that time.  I realized I needed more info to do the work.  Because of what I completed I was more encouraged.  Went back again…enrolled in the program that Fall.   

 

Who has been your greatest influence in your career?

After I graduated from Belmont, I returned to Detroit and interned with Jim Turner of Turner Restoration.  First building did windows  at Pewabic Pottery.  Caught this bug to work with my hands which is something I never thought I could do.  Women, especially petite, are not encouraged to follow a hands-on job trend.  Gained confidence and ability at Belmont.   Gone off on my own and have my own business specializing in stained and leaded glass.  Still learning things on my own which I see as a positive or negative challenge and have met a lot of great people and found the work very rewarding.  I came to respect how old builindigs are constructed and the people who ddo the work.   

Who has been your greatest influence in your career?

I had met Jim Turner (PTN Member) in 2006, way before I started tinkering on windows, at an old house expo in Kalamazoo and kept running into him at other historic workshops.  I’d even run into him in the lumber yard in Detroit so I reached out to him for an internship after Belmont.  He provided me the opportunity to expand my hands-on skills and develop the communication skills that I would need to run my own business.   He was my mentor.  He has always been very helpful and willing to just talk about things.  I can remember that people didn’t want to spend any money in 2008 and it was through Jim I was able to continue learning since he had been established for such a long time.   Even in the last year, I’ve noticed the difference in the economic climate and people are a lot confident now.  

What part of window restoration do you like best?  

I really enjoy seeing buildings on the inside and outside and meeting the people that own and care for them and being able to provide them with something that helps them.  From something as simple as fixing a broken pane or redoing the whole window, being able to look at something and say I did that or I fixed that and the fact that it will  there for many, many, more years.  

What are some of your hobbies and outside interests?    

Tap dancing.  I find that I approach tap dancing the way I approach buildings and architectural history…preserving an art form…that is how I look at tap.  I find it very fascinating.   There really is only a handful of the real masters still left and they passed it on to their generation and it is now being passed down to me and I take that very seriously.  It is something I did growing up and I rediscovered in the past five years.  It is my therapy.   It is a metnal and physical process and it is musical too, you get different sounds how you move your feet.  It uses different parts of your mind than when I work on old houses even though my approach is the same.  Like hands on work…you always keep learning.   We call them tap masters or elders.  

Does Rosie go with you on the jobs?  

She does still go on jobs and she stays at the shop when I’m working.  She has her own room.  She loves people and loves being at the jobsite.  I picked her up off the street last August.  She is a pit bull/sharpie/beagle mix that I found near my old shop on the way back from getting some food.  Flees worms, mange, everything…it has been great watching her grow and get healthy.  I saw something in her that everybody else didn’t see, similar to the way I look at buildings.   When Soldier (her former dog) passed, it was hard for me, I didn’t want a dog and felt nothing could take his place.  Finding Rosie showed me that while nothing could replace Soldier, helping another dog allowed me to bring something unique back into my life. 

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2015 ITES in Review

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In May, on the campus of Savannah Technical College, a small group of preservationists gathered to discuss recent trends in the field of trades education.  Longtime PTN activist, Rudy Christian, led off the symposium discussing the role of non-institutional education in the teaching of the traditional trades.  Anyone who follows Rudy’s blog on Traditional Building’s website knows that he has for years passionately promoted the need for the traditional trades industry to take matters into their own hands and be proactive when it comes to teaching the trades.  

Tim Crawley, a stone carver and teacher, discussed the Arts and Crafts model for training stone and woodcarvers at the City & Guilds of London Art School.  Tim talked about how the skills associated with carving are complimented by observational drawing, modelling, and the study of history, art, architecture and ornament.  

Ken Follett took his turn and discussed the need for education to be dispersed to an existing workforce, and for the educated to be employed at their place of work.  He decried the state of the construction industry that too often focuses on the lowest bidder and is not concerned with workforce investment.   He stressed it is the responsibility of the traditional tradesperson to be vocal and visible, and to set themselves apart from their less knowledgeable competition.  

Steve Hartley focused his presentation on the public outreach programs he has developed at Savannah Technical College including the Visiting Artisan Series.  Natalie Henshaw talked about her role in HistoriCorps and how it can help develop a preservation ethic outside the choir.   Paul Kapp shared a collaboration between the University of Illinois graduate architecture program with Savannah Tech on the development of a design/build project at Fort Pulaski National Monument designed to help foster communication between future designers and future tradespeople.   Mike Kassman talked about the apprenticeship program at the International Masonry Institute and the launching of their Masonry Preservation Certificate Program.   Scott McGibbon discussed the challenges associated with the repair and maintenance of historic buildings in Scotland through two case studies.  John Moore reported on his struggles trying to keep a traditional carpentry program in Kentucky alive in a time of decreasing construction projects, reduced funding for higher education, and state focus on 4-year matriculation or placement in high wage/high demand jobs.  

Two new programs in the traditional trades were introduced.   J. Kenneth Leap informed the group of a new program at Bryn Athyn College in Runnemede, NJ that offers workshops in blacksmithing, stone carving and stained glass.  Bryan Athyn has a long and valued tradition of craft heritage.  Robert Russell introduced a new major, “Historic Preservation and the Traditional Building Arts” created out of a partnership between Salve Regina University and the IYRS School of Trades and Technology in Newport, RI.

American College of the Building Arts instructors Simeon Warren and Patrick Webb each presented at the symposium.   Simeon talked about “The Stone People Project,” that centers on Lincoln Cathedral and Westminster Abbey and a link created by 12 crosses built for Edward I to honor his wife Eleanor.  By researching cathedral records, Warren hopes to create a national and international context for discussion of the necessity of trades education in the 21st century.   Patrick focused on the value and misconceptions concerning “craft.”  The four misconceptions he identified were A. Craft is not labor, B, Art is not craft, C. No one does that anymore, and D) Industry and technology is the future of production because craft costs too much.  

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Patrick Kennedy

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Faces of PTN: Member Spotlight

I grew up in central Kentucky and we always lived in older houses so I got a feel for old houses early on. When I was a teenager we moved to Northern KY and later it was here I got my start in historic preservation. I worked for a Mick Noll who was converting an old firehouse into a restaurant. I was impressed by the man who restored the wooden windows. He was meticulous with the details but still he moved right along. He restored all the windows to smooth working order. Another fellow, an older carpenter had an apprentice who really was not so interested in the work. I paid close attention however and picked up a lot. I learned early on to hustle when I helped him. If I fell behind I would hear "dollar waiting on a dime" and so pick it up to keep him happy and so I could keep working with him. 

Later I fell in with a crew from out in Boone County. They were working around Rabbit Hash putting up relocated log buildings. I loved this work and participated in all aspects of log construction. I have kept after log work off and on over the years.

After a few years with this crew I moved to Frankfort KY and began working on old houses there. I began with small jobs like repairs for doors and windows and moved into window restoration business - fenestration renovation. Then as the community got to know me I began doing kitchen and bath upgrades for historic home and moved on to serious renovations like room additions and structural repairs. I always kept a few window restoration projects going during the season and teamed up with other trades for bigger jobs. 

In 1997 I took a job with the state historic preservation office - the Kentucky Heritage Council. My work there was to assist public entities with their historic renovation projects. I could draw on my own experiences to give direction to owners and contractors who often were not familiar with techniques used for historic preservation. This was a big problem in that municipalities would hire contractors to work on their historic buildings but the contractors who responded to the project had few and sometimes no experience with historic renovation. 

To try to remedy that, with the support of my office, in partnership with the Pine Mountain Settlement School and under the careful direction and leadership of Bob Yapp, we organized the Pine Mountain School for Practical Historic Preservation. Our goal was to teach folks practical methods for renovating historic structures. This was done by intensive hands on one week workshops focusing on a particular aspect of renovation. 

About this time, 2003 I discovered PTN and attended my first IPTW in Mobile AL. I was really blown away by the demonstrations and the members. The devotion to the preservation trades was impressive and the free exchange of information and strong emphasis education clinched it for me. This was the group of professionals I had been looking for. My only regret was I had not discovered them earlier. 

I have continued attending IPTWs since then as best my schedule would allow. I found within the membership professionals who would come to teach at the Pine Mountain workshops and spread the knowledge. My original intent was educating Kentuckians but with such high caliber instructors for the workshops we had attendees from over 30 states and as far away as California. 

An example of how knowledge spreads - Jim Houston came and taught 3 workshops on the art of making and installing large board shingles. The 30" long shingles were split from massive 36" diameter white oak rounds. 3 generations of the descendants of the founder of Pine Mountain Settlement School learned to make shingles like their many grandfather and helped put a new roof on his house, located on the school grounds. Another attendee was inspired to put a authentic new roof on the Gladie Cabin in the Daniel Boone National Forest. I was pleased to be able to assist with this project, instructing volunteers in a series of day long shingle making efforts and ultimately leading a group of Job Corps members and Forest Service staff in installing a new roof. I've continued with the skills Jim taught me by teaching others on a project in Frankfort KY.

Since I left the Kentucky Heritage Council, I have continued working within the preservation field assisting with window workshops with the likes of Bob Yapp and Jim Turner, two nationally recognized window restoration experts. 

For me, PTN opened doors to preservation I never knew existed. PTN introduced me to preservation experts and became a source of wonderful friends. It changed my life for the better and continues to do so. I heartily endorse membership in PTN to anyone involved in the historic preservation field. 

Patrick Kennedy

Restoration Projects Limited
Frankfort, KY
(502) 682-9489
ebpkennedy@gmail

 

HistoriCorps project supervisor Patrick Kennedy at Greer Mill, Alton, MO.
Riven and shaved white oak board shingles for Cove Spring Meat House, 2014.
Riven and shaved white oak board shingles for Cove Spring Meat House, 2014.
Cove Spring Meat House, Cove Spring Park and Nature Preserve, Frankfort, KY
Cove Spring Meat House, Cove Spring Park and Nature Preserve, Frankfort, KY

Taking a break (1978 in Monterey, Kentucky),
Patrick hewing a log (1977 in Monterey, Kentucky).
At a CCC greenhouse window restoration project with Tom Haanen.

 

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Craig Farrow

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Faces of PTN: Member Spotlight

My interest in building replicas of 17th and 18th century American furniture began in 1972 from a Humanities professor of mine in college who introduced me to period tools and early American furniture.I started gathering tools, studying styles, design and construction, visiting museums and historic sites, going to sawmills, and working in earnest. I continued this self taught education for eight years and went into business in 1980.

The body of my work in New England and predominatly Connecticut River Valley furniture from 1620 to the Federal period, has run the gamut. Furniture of every sort and style period, simple to elegant, from pine to mahogany, interior and exterior architectural work as well. Raised paneled walls, wainscoting and moldings, carved doorways and fireplace mantels, staircases and several shell top corner cupboards, all made with period planes I restored or re-profiled.

Throughout these 43 years is included untold numbers of repairs, restorations and conserved work, including two rare and unique Queen Anne high chests of museum stature. Since the 1970's I have presented many educational demonstrations for schools, museums, historical societies and at historic sites. From 1986 to 1994 I served as president, vice president and program co- ordinator for the Old Woodbury Connecticut Historical Society.

Craig Farrow
Burlington, Vermont
cfarrow52@yahoo.com

Turning a front leg for a 17th century armchair from the Winterthur Museum. The lathe shown is a mid 18th century great wheel one that I purchased from I.M.Wiese Antiquarian from Roxbury,Ct. In 1972 and I've turned thousands of pieces and thousands of hours...a labor of love indeed!
Headboard for bed
18th century New England chip carved spoon rack.
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Martin O'Connor

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Faces of PTN: Member Spotlight

In my youth, I developed a taste for speed, power and noise, but as time goes by I'm increasingly drawn to the peaceful pleasures of naturally-powered human inventions. Kayaking and sailing are among my favorite recreational pursuits these days. Collecting vintage hand tools is another. Like so many middle-aged men, I've never outgrown my fascination with machinery and tools. 

Acquiring old tools necessitates learning how to restore and tune them to good working order, and in turn, how they were properly used. After 25 years maintaining machines to produce throwaway packages, I find it extremely satisfying to labor over the restoration or creation of things that are meant to stand the test of time. This has lead to involvement with nearby historical museums, artisans and contractors in pursuit of skills and techniques to help preserve historical structures and artifacts. 

Toward that goal, I joined a blacksmithing club formed about five years ago through the J.F. Glidden Homestead in DeKalb, IL. On weekends when the museum is open for tours, club members take turns staffing the small blacksmith shop added to the grounds. We also meet weekly in rural Sycamore to enhance skills with master smith, Lucio Bortolin. In the fall of 2014, I was called upon to give blacksmithing demonstration at the Garfield Farm and Inn in Campton Hills, IL. 

In addition to blacksmithing, I occasionally do custom woodwork, such as the turning of replacement porch balusters for the miniature victorian playhouse on the grounds of the Ellwood House Museum, also in DeKalb. As time allows, I plan to be a continuing student of traditional trades, well into my retirement.

Martin O'Connor
DeKalb, Illinois

Martin at the forge.
Bending hot metal.
Small dragon door knocker, work in progress, awaiting pivot rivet and mounting holes. Approximately 8” tall.
Initial layout of 30” x 30” screen, based on photo of a window grille. Martin made his own proportional dividers to scale up the drawing from scrap oak.
Checking work in progress with master smith, Lucio Bortolin (right).
Existing and practice pieces for Ellwood Museum’s “Little House” Replacements had to have somewhat random profiles to blend in with old parts.
The completed installation after 2014 restoration by Roger Keys.
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There was one thing all those who attended IPTW 2015 in Burlington, VT could agree upon….the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms was probably the most spec-tacular venue of any previous IPTW and the perfect venue for “All the Trades Under One Roof.” Well, we didn’t exactly get them ALL under one roof, but we did our best. With over 20 demonstrators, a few (primarily timberframers) had to spill out into the am-ple courtyard and a few took cover under some tents in front of the building. 

While there were a few brief showers primarily during setup time, the weather generally was wonderful! From Stained Glass to Plaster, from Masonry to Wood Carving, attendees had a lot to choose from. A few first timers said their only complaint was that they did-n’t have enough time to see everything! 

The keynote speech was delivered by Bill Remsen, who shared his 30+ years of experience in international heritage preservation. Bill was an excellent speaker and had the audience captivated with his wonderful slides. 

The food was excellent and our caterers did a great job making sure that there was enough food for everyone. Nobody went away hungry! Thank to Ian Stewart for making all the arrangements. 

While the Pub Crawl didn’t come off as planned, everybody who attended had a great time sampling the various “Ciders” that Burlington and Vermont is known for. PTN basically took over the first stop on the crawl. 

The people at Shelburne Farms were very hospitable. They opened up the main lodge for tours and over 30 attendees took advantage of the opportunity to tour this historic building. During the setup time, they took deliv-ery of some historic furniture that they were going to store in the coach barn so those who were present got to see the hand-cranked carriage lift in operation. Later, attendees were even given a ride. 
This year’s auction raised over $6000 toward student scholarships. The highlight again this year was the auctioning of David and Angelique’s scagliola column which gets more elaborate every year. This year, fellow plasterer Sarel Venter took home the top prize! Andy DeGuchy once again supplied the beer and his souvenir beer glasses which have become a staple of IPTW events. We thank Andy for his continued support of the organization through this annual endeavor. 

At the annual business meeting, new PTN board members Mike Kassman and Jim Nelson were installed, along with the reelection of Sarah Jackson and Zak Dunne who began their second 2-year term. Sunsetting board members Andy Roeper, Lisa Sasser and Bob Zoni were thanked for their years of service. [Note: Next year, Dave Mertz and Sam Newton will sunset. Pete Janko reapplied and was ap-pointed after the face-to-face Board meeting in Septem-ber.] 

At the Executive Committee meeting, Ian Stewart was elected President, Dave Mertz was elected Vice-President, Jim Nelson was elected Treasurer and Sarah Jackson was reelected as Secretary. 

Project Data
Date City State Askins
July 22-24, 2015 Burlington Vermont David Hayles
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5th International Trades Education Symposium

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The Foundations Are Set: Build The Cornerstones

The Savannah Technical College Center for Traditional Craft in partnership with the Preservation Trades Network and the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTBAU) USA, will host the 5th International Trades Education Symposium (ITES) May 14-16 2015 at Savannah Technical College in Savannah, Georgia USA.

The goal of this conference is to create an environment for collaborative exchanges between educational providers, institutions/organizations, government and industry and to permit educational providers to build greater partnerships with their peers. This conference is designed to build on the collaborative learning set forth during previous ITES events including Lincoln UK (2011), Leadville Colorado (2009), Tallberg, Sweden (2007) and St. Clairsville Ohio (2005).

The ITES “was designed to create opportunities for dialog and exploration of domestic and international models for building trades education and discussion of issues impacting the future of the building trades.” The ITES has succeeded in creating a forum for discussion of traditional trades education. However, a broader and much more pervasive need has become apparent. How do those attending the ITES, and the larger population working on issues of trade education, connect and work together as a community rather than in isolation to forge an interactive structure and have a more powerful impact on the future?

The ITES has shown there is a desire and need to come together to discuss trades education initiatives, but it is has also shown a much greater need; to create an infrastructure which will allow this to happen intuitively and more immediately rather than every two years or so. How can we establish a communications network which will allow people to access information about what is happening internationally without excessive amounts of research and development?

How can a network be developed which will show people what has and is happening in real time so that they can interconnect and interact? At the ITES in Savannah we would like to pose a question. Would your efforts be enhanced if you were able to connect with individuals, organizations, government entities, companies and funders by being networked to them? And ultimately, how do we achieve this?The foundations of this union are already in place. With modern technology and by building “Cornerstones” on the present foundations, we can form a new network and begin to define a new way to meet the challenges of building a sustainable, supportive and interconnected model for trade based education and heritage conservation for the 21st Century. Your input is crucial to reaching this goal.

Register now to attend the Symposium and join the dialog!

2015 ITES Sponsors

 

 

 

 

 

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Call for Demonstration Proposals for IPTW 2015

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Being a demonstrator or presenter at an International Preservation Trades Workshop is a great way to share your skills and knowledge and increase your visibility as a leader in the preservation trades. Demonstrators should have a strong background in the traditional building trades, as well as the ability to convey their techniques and skills in a way that highlights the diversity, vitality and relevance of the traditional trades and contributes to their understanding and practice. The IPTW is an interdisciplinary event designed to attract participants of many backgrounds, ages and skill levels including tradespeople, allied disciplines, students and interested members of the public.

The 19th Annual International Preservation Trades Workshop will be held at the Coach Barn at the Shelburne Farm in Burlington, VT on July 22-24th, 2015 with a set-up day on July 21st. This outstanding venue will feature covered areas for most demonstrations and is located on the shore of Lake Champlain. In addition to the outstanding skills from around the country we will be showcasing New England artisans and helping them connect to the wider network of preservation professionals.

Setup will be on Tuesday July 21st and demonstrations will be held on Wednesday, July 22nd through Friday the 24th. This year we will have a total of 10 sessions with approximately 7 tracks covering masonry, plaster windows and doors, joinery, carpentry and timber framing, roofing, metal work, decorative finishes and business. You will need to demonstrate at least twice and will have the option to specify your preference if desired though we cannot guarantee a particular slot until the demonstrator schedule is finalized. All demonstrations must break down and be clear of the venue prior to the Friday evening dinner and auction. Full details will be provided in the course of your acceptance.

If you're interested in sharing your skills and knowledge with the PTN community please fill out a demonstration proposal form. Submissions are due by Friday, March 27th. Each demonstrator submission will be reviewed and selected by the Demonstration Committee by April 17th. If you have questions or need additional information please check our Demonstrator Guidelines or contact the PTN Office at: info@ptn.org or 866-853-9335

IPTW 2015 - "All the Trades Under One Roof"

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The 19th annual International Preservation Trades Workshop will take place July 22-24, 2015, at Shelburne Farms in Burlington, Vermont, one of the finest examples of a Victorian Era model farm and country estate, and a National Historic Landmark. Created for Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb from 1886 to 1915, Shelburne Farms occupies 1,400 acres of designed and agricultural landscape, with significant buildings representing a combination of Shingle and Queen Anne styles. Four major historic buildings and 78 secondary buildings, structures, and sites are situated in broad expanses of fields, with rolling hills, forests, gardens, and rocky lakeshore. Eleven and a half miles of curvilinear interior roads, and eight miles of walking trails traverse the varied farm and estate landscape, and provide magnificent vistas of Lake Champlain, the Adirondack Mountains to the west and the Green Mountains to the east. Shelburne Farms is an educational nonprofit, practicing environmentally, economically and culturally sustainable rural land use and agriculture, as well as offering educational programs and activities.

IPTW 2015 will be held in the 1902 Coach Barn, the last of the four major buildings at the site designed by architect Robert Robertson. Used for large group gatherings, exhibits, conferences, and special events, the Coach Barn offers the perfect venue for gathering “All the Trades Under One Roof”. The International Preservation Trades Workshop is the only annual event in North America which brings the foremost practitioners of the traditional trades together in a single event, dedicated to sharing the skills and knowledge of all of the trades employed in conservation of the built environment. Since 1997, masons, timber framers, carpenters, painters, roofers, plasterers, metal workers and practitioners of other traditional trades from more than a dozen countries have come together to share their knowledge and demonstrate their skills. Every IPTW draws a diverse audience of tradespeople, architects, preservationists, students and home owners, and offers unique learning opportunities for people of all ages, skills levels and interests.

Known for its arts and culture, vitality, history, and walkable downtown, nearby Burlington, Vermont has received numerous accolades including being designated by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance as #2 among “America’s 10 Great Places to Live” in 2013, and being chosen as the very best small city in the country, for its “State of Well Being”, in a 2010 Gallup-Healthways poll.” Make plans to join us for IPTW 2015 to engage, learn, connect, and explore all this remarkable location has to offer.

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