The Handmade Matters Mentorship

The sharing of a special tradition

In keeping the unique tradition of Windsor Chair making alive, Jon has always been generous with his time and expertise. Each year a small number of students are invited to craft their very own chair within the Handmade Matters workshop at no charge. This extraordinary opportunity is designed to increase accessibility to the unique art of Windsor Chair making. It encourages those who may otherwise not be able to afford, or access, such a course to engage in this age old craft.

The Handmade Matters Mentorship is designed for those pursuing a future in furniture making. It is expected you will hold a Certificate IV in Furniture Design & Manufacture, or be able to demonstrate equivalent experience. Throughout the mentorship you will craft your very own Windsor Chair under Jon’s expert guidance. You will receive training in all aspects of Windsor Chair making, learning everything required to complete a special chair to be treasured. Aside from the practical skills and knowledge you will gain, time spent in the workshop with Jon is filled with rewarding conversations and shared experiences. You will gain first hand insight into Windsor Chair making history, the use of vintage tools, and Jon’s own deep connection to the timbers that grow in Tasmania’s glorious temperate forests.

Onsite accommodation is provided at no charge for the duration of the mentorship. Nestled within a quiet bush setting, the off grid, self-contained A-frame cabin is the ideal way to fully immerse yourself in the Handmade Matters experience. Participants simply need to provide their food and personal supplies. A vehicle is recommended as the property is 40 minutes from Hobart and off the beaten track.

In return, you will ‘pay it forward’ to the chair makers that will follow in your footsteps. Throughout the mentorship you will lend your newfound skills to Handmade Matters by assisting in the creation of some of the key chair making components required for Jon’s chair making classes. You will also assist Jon in preparing for, and running, chair making workshops.

The Handmade Matters Mentorship is three months in duration, with participants committing to working alongside Jon for four days each week.

Applications for The Handmade Matters Mentorship are invited from those with demonstrated furniture making experience, a genuine interest in chair making, and a respect for the maker’s philosophy. Applications are particularly invited from regional and economically disadvantaged applicants.

Applications are invited year round.

How to apply

Please contact us with your name, age and availability details, attaching short responses to the following 5 questions:

  1. Describe your experience and/or qualifications relating to furniture making – the pathway you have taken in your furniture making career to date is of interest.
  2. What is your current knowledge and/or experience of Windsor chair making?
  3. Do you have any additional practical skills that may be of benefit throughout this experience?
  4. Describe your furniture making ambitions and passions.
  5. Provide a brief statement outlining how you think you would benefit from this opportunity.