About Dovetail Wood Arts
Dovetail Wood Arts is a modern urban woodworking studio in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. With a primary focus on woodturning, Suzanne teaches people of all aptitudes to learn and practice wood craft in a collaborative atmosphere that promotes individual growth and achievement. Dovetail offers classes for absolute beginners as well as more experienced makers seeking extra support with advanced techniques. The Dovetail studio also hosts visiting artists and craftspersons for collaborative workshops and demonstrations.
I have always been a maker of things. I can't remember a time when my hands were not busy -- sewing, planting, cooking, painting. Over the years, I focused my talents increasingly on the art of wood. I studied at The Philadelphia Furniture Workshop, The Lohr School of Woodworking and The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. with David Ellsworth, Beth Ireland, Barbara Dill, Betty Scarpino, Clay Foster, Merryll Saylan, Amy Forsyth and countless others.
Although creativity resides in us all, harnessing the talent it takes to release that force takes time and care from dedicated teachers. Today, I focus a major portion of my artistic practice on the art of teaching others to grow and achieve through woodworking. Turning wood on a lathe is one of the few woodworking practices that provides almost instant gratification. It is a fundamental gateway to wood as craft, to wood as art.
The Dovetail Studio is filled with artists who find inspiration by engaging in collaborative workshops. Neighborhood kids are instinctively fascinated by all of the tools and readily accept the challenge to express their creative voices. This modern urban studio within the MaKen North Building is a destination for people from all walks of life to explore new parts of their selves as they turn wood and carve, paint, burn and embellish it.
Dovetail Wood Arts is a space for all seeking growth and achievement through the exploration of self-expression. I am here to support and guide them along that journey.
I round out the Dovetail team here at Maken, as resident artist and as resident helper-person. I’m an architect turned furniture maker, with a BArch from Cooper Union, and MFA in furniture design from RISD. Dissatisfied with the enormous distance between the architect and the built product, the work I make now focuses on the direct relationship of humans with their human-scale environment, which I believe comes in large part from the maker’s familiarity in building it.
I was drawn to woodturning because of the ease with which the lathe creates doubly curved surfaces. In today’s right-angled, straight-lined world, the lathe is one of the few machines which works with us to create the doubly curved surfaces that the human body loves.