The Art of Functional

with Rossel Bérard

“Those who work with their hands are labourers. Those who work with their hands and heads are craftspeople. Those who works with their hands, heads and hearts are artists.”
- St. Francis of Assissi (1181-1226)

The Class:

In order to become a strong woodworker, one must understand the material and master the tools that shape it. This course will take students through some of the most important challenges a fine woodworker faces in building long lasting, ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing objects. From the design phase, to the cutting and shaping, and into the assembly, students will learn how to create unique Tool Totes and come away with the know how to tackle any scale of project.

The Details:

After a tree is cut, milled and shaped, it is still living, in a sense, as its hydroscopic properties allow it to change dimensions with its environment. This course will teach students to understand the specific physical properties of wood which will affect the way we design and shape our projects’ components.

Have you ever said to yourself “I can assemble Ikea furniture, what’s holding me back from doing the whole thing and making it myself!” … Well, nothing… aside from the access to tools and a shop, the main barrier is the ability to conceptualize a design, or read plans, and understand the best way to see your project through.

This course will allow students to do exactly that in designing their very own Tool Tote (Toolbox) according to their needs and preferences; the Tote may also have another purpose, like a condiment tray for outdoor BBQing for example.

A variety of assembly methods will be explored, including dovetail, mortise and tenon and pegged but joints. There will be emphasis on the decorative aspects of each joint and their functionality. Every step of the build will involve the introduction of specific tools and their optimal use including various carving techniques to add ornamentation and give each project its unique twist.


No prerequisites. Intermediate woodworking skills will allow for students to go further in the ornamentation aspect of the project (chip carving, low relief carving, power carving etc.)


  • A tool tote with your unique flare
  • New woodworking techniques that can be scaled to any size of project

FAQs, Schedule and Required Materials listed below.

Date: Thur. July 23rd – Sun. July 26th, 2020

$445 Early Bird; $495 After May 1st

  • Early Bird Course Tuition of $445
  • 21 Hours of Course Time
  • Daily “Boreal Bites”  
  • Morning Yoga
  • An unforgettable experience

Material & Equipment Fee: $100
Some tools, equipment and materials are supplied by forestART and vary from course to course. Details in the FAQ section below. 

Meals & Accommodation: Purchased Separately

Available options are on the registration page.

Contact Us
We are happy to help answer any questions you have about forestART!

Phone: 306 481 4883
Email: nesscreekforestart@gmail.com

Your Instructor : Rossel Bérard

“The most fulfilling part in making sculptural objects and furniture isn’t the end result, but rather the development and the fruition of an idea. Often, the shape or story of a material spawns the creative process; other times, the theme is preconceived, and the materials are simply a vehicle to and end. Carefully planned or spontaneously formed, each piece Rossel Bérard makes is like an itch that needs to be scratched, revealing the materials’ figurative beauty and the creator’s whimsical thoughts.”

Having received his first chisel set when he was in high school, Rossel carved his first sculpture out of plaster, which was exhibited at the Mendel art Gallery in Saskatoon the same year. Shortly afterwards, he participated in snow carving competitions, was trained in wood carving in Benin, West Africa, became a member of Prairie Sculptors Association with whom he exhibited wood carvings, and carved wooden sculptures in Mexico, Guatemala and northern Saskatchewan.

Over the past 10 years, Rossel has focused his attention on building Custom Furniture in Montreal, Quebec. He has exhibited his work Locally and Internationally, and he has been an active participant for the EMMA International Collaboration in Northern Saskatchewan since 2012.

Rossel now teaches Cabinet Making at Rosemount Technology Centre in Montreal and is constantly humbled by what he learns from his students and their shared explorations with wood.


FAQ & More Info

Supplied by you:

  • Measuring tape
  • utility or chip carving knife
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety boots
  • Engineer square or Combination square
  • Bench chisels (1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”)
  • Notebook
  • Pencils
  • Other small personal tools you would like to bring such as:
    • carving set
    • marking gauge
    • spoke shave
    • coping saw
    • dovetail or dozuki saw
    • low level block plane
    • rasps and files

Supplied by Instructor and covered in your Materials/Equipment Fee:

  • Hand Tools
  • Power Tools
  • Wood

No, this is an introductory course, but also targets experienced woodworkers looking to refine their skills.

Yes, some students may only get through the building phase, while others may have time to add more ornamentation and explore further.


  • AM: Arrival
  • 1pm: Group Orientation
  • 2 – 5pm: Instruction Block:
  • 5 – 6pm: Palette Cleanse (Social Hour with Boreal Inspired Appetizers)
  • 6 – 7pm: Supper

Friday / Saturday:

  • 7am: Yoga
  • 8am: Breakfast
  • 9 – 12pm: Instruction Block
  • 12 – 1pm: Lunch
  • 1 – 5pm: Instruction Block
  • 5 – 6pm: Palette Cleanse
  • 7pm onward: Free time


  • 7am: Yoga
  • 8am: Breakfast
  • 9 – 12pm: Instruction Block
  • 12 – 1pm: Lunch
  • 1pm: Group “Show / Share” & Farewell


Days: 3 full, 1 half.

Instructional Hours: 21 hours

It’s choose your own adventure, with options to suit every budget! You can cook all your own meals, pay for lunches only, or get the full meal deal. You can camp with or without power, bunk in with some fellow artists in shared accommodation, or rent a private cabin. 

Full Details on our Food & Accommodation Options can be found on the main forestART page or when you go to register!

Are you joining us??

 We look forward to seeing you in Woodworking: The Art of Functional with Rossel Bérard

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