The Misia Leonard Scholarship is a fund to help students, apprentices, and emerging professionals attend the International Preservation Trades Workshop. Founded in 2016, this scholarship is named in memory of Misia Leonard. Misia served on the PTN Board of Directors and was a strong advocate for the preservation of our cultural heritage. For over 20 years, she worked for the City of New York, spending the last eight of those as Director of the Historic Preservation Office for the Department of Design and Construction. While serving on the PTN Board of Directors, she was instrumental in the development of AIA/CES program.
The Misia Leonard Scholarship was dedicated in her honor in 2016. Since then, five students and apprentices annually receive financial assistance to attend the IPTW. This has been a great avenue for emergining professionals to learn about different trades, meet craftspeople, and get engaged with PTN. The Scholarship is supported by proceeds from the annual auction at IPTW. Five different people were awarded scholarships to attend the 2022 IPTW at Belmont College. In the lead up to the 25th IPTW, we will feature one of their stories each month. This month we feature Maura Smith.
This year, up to 25 students, apprentices, and emerging professionals will able to attend the IPTW for free. Those students can submit an application for waived registration here, and also apply for the Misia Leonard Scholarship. Consider donating to the PTN Scholarship Fund through direct donations and donating to the annual auction.
A little over a month ago I was in route to the annual PTN auction, which is final event of IPTW. I was just four months into a complete career change, and attending IPTW was really my first exposure to the preservation trades and the incredible people who keep them alive. I remember thinking about how bizarre it was to already feel so comfortable with and understood by people I had just met days before. It’s rare for me to meet people that share my passion to preserve and restore the built history around us. Many of the fears and hesitance I had upon entering a new field of work simply melted away at IPTW; the resounding message I received was that I am welcomed into this community, and that I will have an important role in this community as I learn and perfect my craft.
The value of being able to see an expert craftsperson explain, share stories, and demonstrate their experience and skill was such a joy and privilege. After attending my first workshop (Terrazo by Sarel Venter), I felt like a kid in a candy store. Not every person’s “candy store” happens to be work-related, and I realized in that moment how incredibly lucky I was! The most difficult quickly became choosing which workshops to go to – I would’ve gone to all of them twice if possible!
Because woodworking and construction have comprised the majority of my prior hands-on experience, I intentionally tried to attend the demonstrations that I had little to no experience in: slate roofing, forging, models and casting, steel windows, wood windows, stucco repairs, and stone masonry. Each demonstrator offered an incredibly specialized perspective and gave ample space for questions. I even got the opportunity to try my hand at reglazing windows, cutting slate, and carving stone.
As I recently became a conservation technician working with a variety of materials on historic buildings and public art, this information and these connections have been priceless for me. I refer to my notes and videos of the demonstrations from IPTW at least twice a week. The continuous novelty of the projects I am tasked with at work are far less nerve-racking knowing that I have access to a community so willing to share their experiences and advice with newcomers to the field like myself.
I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity attend this year’s IPTW as a receiver of the Misia Leonard scholarship. I am especially grateful to PTN’s President Andrea Sevonty who welcomed me to visit her workshop to learn about her work, as well as encourage me to attend IPTW. This experience has confirmed that I am absolutely in the right career path, which is something that I did not expect to receive. I look forward to continuing my membership with PTN and expanding my knowledge, network, and skillset at next year’s IPTW!
Dear PTN Board Members:
One of those key people was Andrea Sevonty, who not only welcomed me to visit her stained glass workshop but also encouraged me to attend ITPW. Nothing has been more affirming for me than my experience attending ITPW.
THANK YOU – FROM CARRIE
Round Two of our Call For Demonstrators IPTW 2023 is here!
The Preservation Trades Network is looking for craft demonstrators to take part in the 2023 International Preservation Trades Workshop (IPTW) at the Historic Preservation Training Center in Frederick, Maryland.
Please complete and submit this Application to Demonstrate, or send all application information in email form to email@example.com. If your application is selected, you will receive free entry into this unique, 3 day event. Before filing this form, demonstrators must review the Call For Demonstrators to see important details regarding this event.
Thursday September 7 - Saturday September 9, 2023
Historic Preservation Training Center
6129 Butterfly Lane, Frederick, Maryland
New PTN Executive Board
At PTN's semi-annual face-to-face Board Of Directors meeting this March in Frederick, Maryland, the new executive board was reconstituted. The current executive board is as follows:
Please welcome our new e-board as they serve the needs of PTN in the coming year. Stay tuned for news, updates, and interaction about and from the full PTN board of directors and other members through our website, emails, newsletter, virtual happy hours, and in person this September at our signature event, The International Preservation Trades Workshop!
Let me begin by thanking PTN for affording me the opportunity to attend the 2022 IPTW conference by awarding me with the Misia Leonard scholarship. As a beginning professional, having the opportunity to interact and study with experts in the field is priceless. While my education at Belmont College laid a solid foundation for a career in the traditional trades, there is only so much that can be learned in a classroom setting. Starting out in a new field can be rather daunting at times, especially when there is a lack of direct mentorship. When encountering new or unanticipated problems, the troubleshooting process often involves much trial and error. Having the ability to ask an experienced tradesperson what to do in these situations is a lifesaver.
I was thrilled to have the chance to watch many of my idols work, and assumed I would glean some new insights through observation; however, I did not expect the workshops to be so interactive. I was able to ask loads of questions that have been keeping me up at night! Perhaps the most surprising theme was that many world-renowned masters of their craft did not consider themselves to be masters at all. Every person I spoke with mentioned that there is always more to learn and each project presents a distinctive set of challenges. Further, they were eager to divulge their most prized tips and tricks. This culture of sharing one's knowledge and experience was quite unique and something that is seldom seen elsewhere.
I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend the IPTW conference. I have gained an understanding of many new techniques that I may not have grasped otherwise. I engaged with a wide variety of professionals in the field, each of whom dispensed valuable wisdom and advice. The entire experience was quite momentous and I look forward to the next one!
The Preservation Trades Network is seeking demonstrators to participate in IPTW 2023. “Silver Edition” is the theme for the 25th International Preservation Trades Workshop, to be held at the Historic Preservation Training Center building at 6129 Butterfly Lane, Frederick, Maryland from Thursday, September 7th through Saturday, September 9th, 2023. Additionally there may be a pre-conference workshop and/or community day workshop during the week of the event. Evening activities will be held in downtown Frederick, Maryland, including an opening night reception on Wednesday, September 6th; PTN Pub Crawl on Thursday, September 7th, and Banquet/Auction on Saturday, September 9th. In addition to the outstanding tradespeople from around the globe, we will be showcasing local artisans and helping them connect to a wider network of preservation professionals.
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 and the ability to convey their techniques and skills in a way that contributes to the understanding and practice of their specific trade. Demonstrations should highlight the diversity, vitality and relevance of the traditional trades, with emphasis on historic preservation and/or restoration of cultural resources. 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.
Setup will be on Wednesday, September 6th, and demonstrations will be held on Thursday, September 7th through Saturday, September 9th. This year we will have up to 25 demonstrators with approximately 10 tracks covering masonry, plaster, windows and doors, joinery, carpentry and timber framing, roofing, metal work, decorative finishes, design, and business. You will need to demonstrate at least twice and will have the option to specify your preference if desired, although we cannot guarantee a particular slot until the demonstrator schedule is finalized.
The IPTW will be following all federal, state, local, and other necessary health and safety protocols in order to provide the safest event for all present. It is the responsibility of all demonstrators and attendees to follow the stated safety protocols of IPTW while at the conference. IPTW may also be supplemented or supplanted by a virtual version of the conference, depending on current CDC guidelines and other related factors at the time of the conference. In the event that it is not possible to safely hold an in-person event, demonstrators will be notified as soon as possible and a virtual event will be planned, to be enjoyed by attendees unable to be physically present at the conference.
All demonstrations must break down and be clear of the venue prior to the Saturday evening dinner and auction. Full details will be provided in the course of your acceptance. All demonstrator applications are due by Monday, March 20th, 2023, and should be submitted through the application form:
Alternatively, all application information can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selected sessions will be notified by March 27th.
Nominations for the 2023 Askins Achievement Award will open between March 10-April 14, 2023 by midnight EST.
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. Follow the links below to learn more about the award or to nominate someone.
Submit a Nomination >>
View Past Award Recipients >>
The Preservation Trades Network’s President, Amanda Starcher Warren, has taken a leave of absence due to an illness in her family. The PTN Board looks forward to when she is able to join us again.
Andrea Sevonty is serving as our Acting President; Joe Tokarsky, as our Acting Vice-President.
The Board will meet this March 24-25th for the annual face-to-face Board meeting in Frederick, Maryland, to review organization status, development and event planning for IPTW.
Stay tuned for IPTW updates!
The Misia Leonard Scholarship was dedicated in her honor in 2016. Since then, five students and apprentices annually receive financial assistance to attend the IPTW. This has been a great avenue for emergining professionals to learn about different trades, meet craftspeople, and get engaged with PTN. The Scholarship is supported by proceeds from the annual auction at IPTW.
Five different people were awarded scholarships to attend the 2022 IPTW at Belmont College. In the lead up to the 25th IPTW, we will feature one of their stories each month. This month we feature Corbet Walser. Consider donating to the PTN Scholarship Fund through direct donations and donating to the annual auction.
After nearly two years of global upheavals, at long last we converged on a grassy hill on the Allegheny Plateau in verdant eastern Ohio. Like Virgil and Dante, my father-in-law and I had journeyed through the dark and tempestuous night, driving from Boston in an ill-conceived long haul. We arrived in St. Clairsville with the sun; bleary-eyed, exhausted, but teeming with excitement for the days ahead.
My father-in-law is Steve Schuyler, the bookseller, and as we unloaded his wares, Steve introduced me to Dave Mertz, whose permanent smile and twinkling eyes betrayed a singularly winning spirit. I compare Steve to Virgil not merely because he is a veteran man of letters with whom I endured a turbulent journey, but also because he introduced me to so many noteworthies, his old friends, the founding pillars of PTN.
Although the weather was quite overcast, and at times even rainy, by fits and starts it improved before reaching a vernal climax on Saturday. In the intervening days, we were entertained and enlightened by numerous presentations and demonstrations.
As they are the furthest from my own training, I was especially impressed by the plaster casting, terrazzo and scagliola. The easy, unpretentious tone of the demonstrators belied the intricacy of their creations, but was echoed by their common refrain: "Do not be afraid to try this in your own work." To see titans deign to teach us mere mortals is quite the sight.
And sights there were, galore. I saw a slate roofer drive a hundred copper nails and not bend a single one. A thatcher hefted a sheaf of reeds and wielded a hobnailed mallet as his forebears had millenia before. And I was ever drawn back to the blacksmiths' forge, watching them ply a trade as old as time, whose theories modern science has vindicated as much as improved upon.
Yet for all of the reverence for the past so natural to our calling, there was still an overtone of Spring, of those things yet to come. Among heads grown heavy with decades of dear-bought experience there shone the young faces of new-minted preservationists, eager to inherit the grand tradition to which we have devoted our lives.
The meteorological jewel that was Saturday afternoon gave way to the emotional zenith of the banquet. It was held in the magnificent Scottish Rite Cathedral, in Wheeling, West Virginia, a town home to some of the finest bridges I saw all weekend, and I was staying with a friend in Pittsburgh. Hearts long quarantined opened like lilies to the heat, displaying the true marks of friendships (and dare I say, professional rivalries?), and as evening turned to night, the dinner mounted to an uproar of giving. Items were given up for auction, giving hands placed generous bids which would enable next year's conference, and all gave hearty farewells and promises to see each other then.
Again, thank you for everything. I had an amazing time and can't wait for the next IPTW.
PTN is excited to welcome Jeff Larry, John McRitchie and John Rodgers to the Board of Directors! Check out their full biographies on the Board of Directors page.
Jeff Larry is a Preservation Manager at President Lincoln's Cottage and past IPTW demonstrator. He is based in Maryland, USA. John McRitchie is a Preservation Carpenter based in Scotland. John Rodgers is a Window Preservation Specialist based in Missouri, USA.
If you have not had a chance to meet the new board members in person or through social media join us at the up coming virtul happy hours and of course the 25th International Preservation Trades Workshop this September 7-9th in Frederick, Maryland!
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