Call for Papers - International Trades Education Syposium (ITES 2015)


The Savannah Technical College Center for Traditional Craft in conjunction with the Preservation Trades Network will host the 5th International trades Education Symposium (ITES) May 14-16 2015 at Savannah Technical College in Savannah, Georgia USA. The theme of the conference is:

Building Foundations – Building A New Culture For Building Craft Education and Industry

With the recent economic downturn, an increased focus on the trades and trade education has been espoused by government and societal leaders. How have educational providers responded to these calls for a greater trained workforce in traditional crafts? What can educators, institutions, government agencies and non-profits learn from their counterparts’ experiences? What are the platforms and pathways that can be and are being created today that will lead craft education in the future?

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. Abstracts and panel discussion proposals are currently being accepted for the following themes:

Defining Pathways for Trades Education in the 21st Century

Industry, business and higher education
Craft practitioners, teacher and the public
Potential for development of skills exchange, and partnership efforts
Collaboration on community, regional, national and international levels
Building a new culture for building craft education and industry
Finding and Remembering the Reasons for Building Craft

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 (2014).

submit an abstract

Abstracts will be accepted through December 31st 2014. For any questions, please contact Stephen Hartley at shartley@savannahtech.edu. Accepted presenters will be notified by January 15th 2015.

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IPTW 2014 returned 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 were “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 provided hands-on, interactive demonstrations in a number different tracks covering plastering, masonry, metal arts, window repair and more. This fun-filled, two-day event also included extended, day-long demonstrations and the very first ever Traditional Trades Obstacle Course.

A highlight of IPTW 2014 was the presentation of the 2014 Askins Achievement Award to David R. Mertz, Professor and Chair of the Building Preservation/Restoration Program at Belmont College. The nomination, submitted by Simeon Warren, Dean Emeritus of the American College of the Building Arts states,

"I nominate David R. Mertz for the Askins Achievement Award not only in recognition of his great achievement in sustaining an exceptional academic program for over 25 years in the United States, but also in my humble opinion perhaps, he is the most influential figure in trade education this side of the Atlantic. Every academic professor who has built a program in these United States has referenced this man and his work. Which means that every student who has been through an academic trade education program has been influenced by this man."

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Date City State Askins
September 10-13, 2014 St. Clairsville Ohio David R. Mertz

Soon to come.

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Date City State Askins
2013 Frederick Maryland Duffy Hoffman

Soon to come.

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Date City State Askins
Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2012 Charleston South Carolina Simeon Warren

Tradespeople involved in the conservation process must be skilled in traditional materials, tools, and techniques and knowledgeable of preservation, maintenance and conservation methodologies. As part of multidisciplinary teams including architects, conservators, and other professionals, trades practitioners participate in decisions—both philosophical and technical—that impact the long-term preservation of the built heritage. There is a growing awareness in the United States and abroad that contemporary trades education is not providing the learning opportunities needed to prepare individuals for the complex challenges that arise when conserving historic sites. Throughout the world, stakeholders in cultural heritage preservation are working to strengthen existing and create new models for educating the next generation of tradespeople. Although the range of solutions employed to educate and train tradespeople vary, there are common needs and objectives that cross cultural borders, particularly in today’s global environment. The International Trades Education Symposium (ITES) is a biannual event developed to help build an international network of cooperative programs, linking building trades education providers, practitioners and resources. Three previous International Trades Education Symposia have been held; ITES 2005 at Belmont Technical College in St. Clairsville, Ohio, ITES 2007 in Tällberg, Sweden, and ITES 2009 in Leadville, Colorado. At each ITES existing relationships have been strengthened and energized and new connections have been added to the network of educators and tradespeople working to promote the continuing vitality and relevance of the traditional trades.

The 2011 International Trades Education Symposium was held in the Lawn in the Lincoln Cathedral Quarter on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th May 2011. The Lawn, opened in 1820 as the Lincoln Asylum, was the County's first purpose-built hospital for the treatment of the mentally ill. The Asylum was developed largely through the efforts of local physician, the Reverend Doctor Francis Willis. A caring and pioneering hospital, it was famous for removing all use of physical restraint and isolation and developing instead on a sympathetic and rehabilitative environment for its patients. In the mid 1980s, with a change in emphasis towards the care of the mentally ill, the hospital became surplus to health authority requirements and was closed. Lincoln City Council decided to purchase the complex and its eight acres of grounds to establish a new visitor centre. The Lawn was officially opened by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales in November 1990 and today includes excellent conference facilities, caters for civil marriages and receptions, and there is a cafe and shops. Lincoln Cathedral is one of the finest medieval buildings in Europe, which towers above Lincoln, a prominent landmark for miles around. The imposing West Front incorporates the surviving part of the first Romanesque Cathedral dating from 1072. Most of the Cathedral dates from the 13th century when, inspired by the leadership of St Hugh (Bishop from 1186- 1200), the Cathedral was re-built in the new gothic style.

On Saturday 21st May Lincoln hosted a major international traditional craft skills event held in partnership between Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle. Lincoln Castle was venue for traditional craft demonstrations be held alongside a Tastes of Lincolnshire event in Castle Square. By Norman times, Lincoln was the third largest city of the realm in prosperity and importance. The city even had its own mint for making coins. In 1068, two years after the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror began building Lincoln Castle on a site occupied since Roman times.

ITES 2011 Program

ITES 2011 sessions and papers explored the following areas of interest to educators and traditional tradespeople:

  • Labor History of the Building Trades from primitive structures to the present. What we can learn from the history of the building trades and how we find its impact on culture today.
  • Defining the challenge of the 21st Century for trade based education and industry. Practical application to the development of standards and practices for teaching traditional trades methods and building preservation/conservation technology.
  • Developing a new culture of building and defining pathways for trades education in the 21st century.

Download a copy of the ITES 2011 program.

Tour for the Trades

In conjunction with the International Trades Education Symposium and 1,000 years of traditional trades event in Lincoln, May 19-21st, PTN offered a special Tour for the Trades, starting in London on Sunday, May 15th and arriving in Lincoln on May 18th. The Tour for the Trades provided a behind the scenes look at English cultural heritage with emphasis on the traditional trades featuring visits to Hampton Court Palace, Stratford upon Avon, Hardwick Estate and more!

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Date City Country
May 19-22, 2011 Lincoln England

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission partnered with Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, the Preservation Trades Network, Inc. and other organizations to bring one of the largest gatherings of preservation and traditional trades people and enthusiasts in the world to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The 15th annual International Preservation Trades Workshop (IPTW) was held August 4-6, 2011 on the campus of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, 750 E. King Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. IPTW 2011 brought together hundreds of the best preservation and traditional trades crafts people, as well as preservation architects, preservation consultants, building trades contractors and others from the US, Canada, Europe and beyond, who are interested in learning more about preservation and traditional trades techniques, tools, materials and practices. For those who work in the preservation and traditional building trades, this was a gathering of the "tribe". For others, it offered a unique opportunity to see some of the finest crafts people at work and learn more about how historic building preservation is accomplished in construction. With the theme, Hands on Heritage: Trades, Knowledge, Community, IPTW 2011 included a keynote address by Donovan Rypkema, of PlaceEconomics an internationally known preservation consultant, writer and lecturer who addressed the important contribution to a local economy provided by the preservation trades, and also the role of historic preservation in comprehensive sustainable development. A copy of his presentation is available for download . More than 30 presentations and in-depth hands-on demonstrations showcased the talents of some of the world's best preservation and traditional crafts people. Special pre-conference tours will included a trip to the Mercer & Fonthill Museums and the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. Another tour included a demonstration of a water powered vertical saw mill at the Daniel Boone Homestead, a behind the scene tour of the Ball and Ball Hardware workshops and a tour of the Wharton Escherick home and studio.

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Date City State Askins
August 4-6, 2011 Lancaster Pennsylvania Dominic DeRubis

This summer the Preservation Trades Network partnered with the Timber Framers Guild to hold our second timber frame workshop the week of June 7-11 at beautiful Shelburne Farms, a membership-supported, nonprofit environmental education center and National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain in Shelburne, Vermont. Thie workshop focused on historic restoration and repair techniques. The restoration and repair workshop was taught by Jan Lewandoski, a world renowned master timber framer. Additionally day one of the workshop (June 7th) featureed lectures and demonstrations by wood scientist Ron Anthony and structural engineer David C. Fischetti. The program venue was the Victorian “Breeding Barn” at Shelburne Farm. It was built from 1889 to 1891 and at the time was said to be the largest open span timber structure in America. The architect was Robert Henderson Robertson. The structure has a footprint of 107’ x 418’ and includes some of the most elegant and truly ambitious trusses ever incorporated in an agricultural structure. Shelburne Farms was created as a model agricultural estate in 1886 by William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb. In 1972, it became an educational nonprofit featuring nearly 400 acres of woodlands which are Green Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and a grass-based dairy operation with 125 purebred, registered Brown Swiss cows. Milk produced on the farm is transformed into award-winning farmhouse cheddar. The mission of Shelburne Farms is to cultivate a conservation ethic by practicing rural land uses that are environmentally, economically and culturally sustainable.

The workshop covered:

  • The Breeding Barn at Shelburne Farms as a case-study for the investigation, analysis, and repair of historic timber buildings
  • Wood investigation techniques for historic buildings, including resistance drilling, digital radioscopy, and remote visual inspection
  • Historic and current techniques for modeling and analysis of timber frames
  • Cribbing and shoring for structural timber repair
  • Dismantling / selective demo
  • Deciding when to conserve and when to replace timber elements
  • Techniques such as free-tenoning and scarfed repairs
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Date City State Askins
Date City State Askins

14th annual International Preservation Trades Workshop - IPTW 2010 Frankfort, Kentucky - October 21-23, 2010 From October 21-23, 2010, the 14th annual International Preservation Trades Workshop - IPTW 2010 was held in Frankfort, Kentucky in partnership with the Kentucky Heritage Council, The Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist & Convention Bureau and the Frankfort Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites. The 2010 Kentucky State Historic Preservation Conference, co-sponsored by the Kentucky Heritage Council and Preservation Kentucky Inc. took place in conjunction with IPTW 2010 IPTW 2010 provided unique opportunities for preservation tradespeople, architects, preservation organization staff members, historic property stewards, state and local government employees, homeowners and students to gain understanding of the preservation trades and create exchanges between professionals and the public through interactive demonstrations, educational sessions and one-on-one discussions. Sessions and demonstrations included roofing techniques, plaster repair and maintenance, repair of historic porches and exterior elements, proper masonry materials and repair, painting and paint removal, new regulations in lead paint abatement, restoration of historic lighting fixtures, blacksmithing, wood and steel window restoration, stained glass repair, dry laid stone construction, project documentation, understanding business tools including the web and social media, decision-making, and the benefits of hiring a certified restoration tradesperson. The workshop featured more than 30 demonstrators from all parts of the country and beyond – including some of the most highly skilled craftspeople in their fields. Most activities took place inside the Frankfort Convention Center, although some demonstrations – such as blacksmithing – took place outside on the lawn and at the Old State Capitol, including a “Dutchman” repair workshop directed by the masonry division of the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center in Frederick, Md.

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Date City State Askins
October 21-23, 2010 Frankfort Kentucky Neil Rippingale

In 2009, the Tulane School of Architecture Preservation Studies Program and Preservation Trades Network in partnership with the 1772 FoundationNational Center for Preservation Training and TechnologyWorld Monuments Fund and Save Our Cemeteries offered the Preservation Studies Summer Field School: “Cities of the Dead: Above-Ground Cemetery Preservation, Conservation, Documentation Methodology and History” in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In Applied Conservation Field Work PRST-647, students learned via field work historically appropriate treatments for 19th century above-ground tombs. The Taylor Tomb in the Secret Garden of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 served as one case study. Students worked under the tutelage of master craftsmen to learn about lime-based building technology in plaster, mortar, limewash and masonry applications.

Field Studies in Historic Preservation PRST-646 was a seminar taught by professors in the Tulane School of Architecture Preservation Studies Program. Topics included architectural history, preservation technology, landscape architecture, funerary iconography and history of New Orleans Cemeteries. Students learned how to navigate through local archives to collect research for individual papers and group projects.

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Date City State
July 13-31, 2009 New Orleans Louisiana


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