Learn Woodworking: UNM – Taos Branch


The view from the UNM Taos campus. Photo courtesy of http://www.terrain.org

The second stop on our virtual tour of regional woodworking schools is in the mountains of northern New Mexico.
At the University of New Mexico’s Taos campus, students can pursue a 30-hour certification in Fine Woodworking that offers the fundamentals of both hand and machine work, as well as courses in furniture design, carving, steam bending and chair making. The school also offers a course in construction of traditional Spanish Colonial furniture.
James Rannefeld, the program’s founder and director was a solo craftsman and a production shop owner before getting into teaching. The faculty also includes several other accomplished local furniture-makers and carvers.
The program began in the mid 1990s in Rannefeld’s personal shop. It now features a fully equipped shop on the Taos campus and teaches approximately 100 students each semester, with class sizes capped at 12 to 15 students. Roughly one quarter are certificate students, with the rest taking individual courses for university credit. Rannefeld says he believes UNM Taos is the region’s only woodworking program at a major university.
He also says there are still course openings for the Spring ’15 semester. Visit the UNM Taos website for more details.


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