The Rustic, Refined

Innovative Woodworking

with Saskatchewan woodworker Brian Gladwell

“There is no such thing as scrap wood, just pieces not yet used” - Author Unknown

That point where the outdoors – the Rustic, and the indoors – the Refined, intersect: that’s where this group will explore the creative possibilities born in wood. The plan: to work with birch and pine sourced from the Ness Creek area. To acquire some basic wood and tool skills and to extend existing skills. And, most of all, to have fun building stuff with wood, in the fresh air of a Saskatchewan summer.

Working with material mostly from the wood pile, we’ll each make a small table, stool, bench or bookshelf (or something else) that will offer plenty of scope for both aesthetic growth and development of technical skills. Methods will include splitting, sawing, drilling, and shaping with draw knives, planes, chisels and utility knives. Sharpening the tools will be covered as needed, and joinery can range from mortise and tenon to nailing or tying. We’ll use a mixture of hand and power tools, according to participant’s interests and abilities.

We’ll each work at our own level, whether that’s complete beginner, or confident intermediate. All the materials and equipment needed will be supplied, but participants should bring whatever small hand or power tools they may have, especially a cordless drill, utility knife (with lots of extra blades), tape measure, tight fitting stretchy work gloves, safety eyewear and ear plugs or muffs.


  • Learn about the nature of wood, its fibre structure and how its movement as it dries affects design considerations.
  • Learn to work safely with woodworking tools.
  • Gain confidence as a designer, dealing with both aesthetic and technical issues.
  • Complete one or two small tables, benches, stools or shelves.
  • Enjoy the pleasure and excitement of making something, with others, out in the woods.

There are no prerequisites for this course – the instruction and project will be adapted to your individual level.

Date: Tues. August 6th – Fri. August 9th, 2019

Tuition: $545

  • Early Bird Tuition – $445
  • 20 Hours of Course Time
  • Material & Equipment Fee of $100
  • Daily “Boreal Bites”  
  • Morning Yoga
  • An unforgettable experience

Inclusive Price: $545 – $995

Inclusive Price varies based on chosen meal plan & accommodation during your time at forestART.

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

Phone: 306 480 9010
Email: nesscreekforestart@gmail.com

Your Instructors : Brian Gladwell

After a background studying Political Science, Brian Gladwell began a career making furniture in the seventies. He continues his practise of client commissions, exhibition work for galleries, and teaching woodworking at the Neil Balkwill Civic Art Centre in Regina. His work focusses on that area where sculpture and furniture can overlap. In addition to working in wood he’s also known for his explorations of cardboard as a material for furniture. Brian’s had numerous solo exhibitions, including the Mendel Art Gallery, the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum, Dunlop Art Gallery, Susan Whitney Gallery, Nouveau Gallery and, most recently, Slate Fine Art Gallery in Regina.

In recent years he has served as Artist in Residence at the State University of New York – Purchase College, the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and the Australian National University in Canberra. Brian has served on many local and provincial boards of arts organizations, and is a founding director of the Furniture Society, an international organization to advance the art of furniture making.

Asked what he most likes about teaching, he says everybody comes to wood from a different life experience and perspective, so it’s always fresh for him too.


Brian has been my teacher for some years, in the furniture domain; function trumps form, Brian has always helped find the balance. A favourite exercise is to look at a piece, model or drawing, evaluating it and making the changes resulting in an object that rises in subtle ways. His depth of knowledge in wood and woodworking is extraordinary.

Gordon W. Blackmore
Former Student
Brian is very fun to learn from. This class was unlike any other that I've taken, we all worked through problems and it felt like a real group effort.

Bob Nodge
Former Studetn


FAQ & More Info

This course will accommodate a range of skill levels, with everyone working at their own pace, with lots of individual attention.  We’ll focus on technical and aesthetic issues appropriate to your level and interest.

Tools and all materials will be supplied.  We’ll be working with hand tools, portable power tools and a band saw.  If students have any hand tools or portable power tools, do bring them as we’ll be sharing a limited number of tools.  If you have no tools at all, that’s fine.  Bring safety items like safety glasses, closed toe shoes and ear protection. Gloves should be the tight stretchy kind, but leather gloves will be ok.  Bring a tape measure and pencils.  We’ll be working with wood sourced from the Ness Creek area, so much of it will be in log or firewood form.

Tuesday 1pm:  Official start time and orientation

Tuesday afternoon to Friday morning:

Group introduction & discussion of individual goals for class.

Discussion of class format & project options.

Discussion of woodworking safety (ongoing throughout the week).

Ongoing: Group discussion of design and technical issues relating to our projects.

Look at the wood pile, choose a project, and get started!

Tuesday evening to Friday morning:

Students will work on their individual projects with individual assistance from the instructor, and group discussions as appropriate.

Friday morning: Compare and appreciate each other’s work.



  • Optional yoga prior to breakfast
  • Journaling and drawing, forest walks 


  • Early evening Palette Cleanse social hour with complimentary boreal bites, an opportunity to socialize and interact with all the other art course participants to be inspired and make connections!
  • Optional sauna, camp fire time, storytelling, walks, swimming, etcO

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 The Rustic, Refined with Brian Gladwell!

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