WPCC Students and Faculty Participate in Burke Arts Council Exhibition


Wood working exampleStudents and faculty from Western Piedmont Community College (WPCC)’s Professional Crafts Wood program will participate in the Burke Arts Council’s 11th Annual Woodworking exhibition. The exhibition opening will be held Friday, March 11 from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. at the Jailhouse Gallery located in Downtown Morganton.  The exhibition will close Friday, April 15. Students will display several unique items including chairs, casework, and an array of wood turned items such as candle sticks created by WPCC students.

WPCC program instructors, John Ferguson and James Ellis, will also have their work on display.  Ferguson received his bachelor of science in industrial education & technology from Appalachian State University.  Ferguson’s furniture roots are in hand crafted wood furniture and accessories.  He learned all his wood working knowledge in a Virginian cabinet shop founded in 1872 by Felix Barr.  Ferguson credits his success as a fine woodworker, producing shaker-style furniture and accessories, to the strong foundation received through this apprenticeship.  Ferguson is drawn to the ideals of the Shaker tradition and believes to “Simplify and never sacrifice integrity or strength.”

James Ellis received an associate of applied science in professional crafts woodworking and an associate of arts from Western Piedmont Community College.  He also earned a bachelor of science in industrial design with a concentration in furniture design from Appalachian State University.  Ellis’ teaching philosophy embraces the study and development of new techniques and the integration of different materials and processes in order to make innovative, useful objects.   As a designer craftsman, Ellis goal is to live a quality life which he defines as “being free to make beautiful objects that someone will love and cherish for many years.”

For more information about the 11th Annual Woodworking Exhibition, visit www.burkearts.org.

WPCC’s Professional Crafts Wood program curriculum provides individuals with traditional values of fine craftsmanship, creative design, and an entrepreneurial spirit for a small woodworking enterprise. The coursework includes a strong emphasis on creative thinking and problem solving. Study involves a mix of theoretical and hands-on training combined with a blend of historical and modern methods of woodworking and small business management.  Upon completion of required coursework, graduates may earn a degree, diploma or certificates.

For more information about WPCC’s professional crafts wood program and courses, contact Professional Crafts Coordinator Courtney Long at 828-448-3552 or clong@wpcc.edu.