Director, Southwest School of Woodworking
Raúl has been a professional furniture maker since 1990. A member and former president of the Arizona Association of Fine Woodworkers, and a member of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers, Raúl specializes in custom furniture and antiques restoration, and is particularly interested in traditional hand-tool techniques. He began to teach himself woodworking during the 1970’s while working in the aerospace industry and eventually changed careers to devote himself to the craft. In 2013, with the help of other accomplished woodworkers, he founded the Southwest School of Woodworking in order to bring the highest level of woodcraft education to Arizona and to create opportunities for the next generation of woodworkers to learn from some of today’s most respected masters.
Owner, American Heritage Restorations & Conservation (retired)
Jim Altman is a furniture conservator, master finisher, and restorer. He operated his Phoenix-based conservation and restoration business for over 30 years, and is an expert in multiple woodworking and finishing techniques. Although he has technically retired, Jim still accepts special commissions, many of which are built at the school.
Janet has been carving since the fifth grade, when she turned a bar of soap into a poodle for a soap-carving contest. She soon transferred her skills to wood, and has never looked back. Now an accomplished carver in many different mediums, Janet is also an excellent teacher, happy to share her enthusiasm as well as her techniques, as she does in her book: Complete Guide to Soap Carving.
British woodworker Jimmy Clewes started turning when he was in college and is now a leader in the crafts and is on the Register of Professional Woodturners in the United Kingdom and a member of the American Association of Woodturners. A skilled and entertaining instructor noted for his charming British style and unending wit, Jimmy has produced several very popular DVDs about turning, and now teaches his techniques to students all over the world, from Europe and Australia to his new workshop in Las Vegas. We are very happy that he is now a regular guest instructor at the Southwest School of Woodworking.
Owner, David Fleming, Cabinetmaker LLC
David Fleming learned basic carpentry as a matter of necessity while living for many years in remote northwest Alaska. In the 1980’s, he discovered the work of woodworking icon James Krenov, and spent two years studying with Krenov at the renowned Fine Woodworking program at California’s College of the Redwoods. David relocated to Scottsdale, AZ in 1993 and has made furniture there ever since. An expert in hand tool use, he has taught Krenov-inspired woodworking techniques to small classes and groups since 2009. Visit www.dfcabinetmaker.com
Doug and Rhonda Forsha established their custom furniture business, De La Madera, in Scottsdale in 1986. In the years since, they have built their business into one of the most highly respected woodworking studios in the southwest. Doug is a master woodworker and technician, expert in both traditional and ultra-modern furniture design and construction. Rhonda is a master finisher, creating complex finishes that satisfy the needs of the most demanding and discriminating architects, decorators, and individual clients. Together they create extraordinary furniture and architectural details for homes across Arizona and beyond.
Owner, The Michael C. Fortune Studio
Designer/maker, teacher and mentor Michael C. Fortune is one of Canada’s most respected and creative contemporary furniture masters. He is acknowledged for both his technical and design expertise, giving lectures and workshops across Canada and the United States. His work has appeared in numerous exhibitions worldwide. In 1993 Michael received the prestigious Prix Saidye Bronfman, Canada’s highest award in the crafts, and in 2007 he received the Award of Distinction from The Furniture Society. For more information, visit www.michaelfortune.com.
Owner, Gengarelly Furniture
Furniture maker Randy Gengarelly specializes in making luxury pieces that are reminiscent of the finest work done in previous centuries, with meticulous attention to aesthetics, craftsmanship, and function. His work has been featured in Fine Woodworking magazine and the Orbita® watch-winder catalogue. Randy studied under the great Italian-born cabinet-maker Egidio “Gene” Oliverio, who began his apprenticeship at the age of seven and who had never seen a power tool until moving to the United States in the mid 1930’s. In that tradition, Randy does most of his work with hand tools, which he feels are key to acheiving the fine lines, subtle shaping, and precise fit of truly fine furniture. Randy also spends part of his time teaching leadership and communication skills around the U.S. and world. This role has allowed him to closely study the furniture in many of the world’s best museum collections and his admiration for these masterpieces influences each piece that he designs and builds.
Owner, Zenith Design
Andy Glantz designs and builds contemporary sculptural furniture in his Scottsdale workshop. With an extensive background in art and design, Andy is a long-time member and past President of The Furniture Society, and has been active in numerous volunteer and non-profit arts organizations. Through his studio, Zenith Design, he creates one-of-a-kind pieces with a meticulous eye for proportion and detail. Visit www.zenith-design.com/
Inlay and Veneer Instructor
Based out of Rochester, New York, Scott Grove has become internationally recognized for his incredibly detailed creations, which often combine materials in new and innovative ways. He has won many awards, including the Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge; has appeared on television on Woodworking in Action and HGTV’s The Furniture Show; and has produced a popular Ted Talk. A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in environmental design and a minor in sculpture, Grove also studied at RIT’s School for American Crafts. Many people know Scott through his popular books on veneering and other advanced techniques, as well as his articles in magazines like Fine Woodworking, Woodshop News, and other publications, but he is also a popular classroom instructor and teaches regularly at leading woodworking schools—including Southwest School of Woodworking.
Artist turned carpenter turned cabinet-maker turned, well, woodturner, Beth Ireland is an accomplished creator and popular teacher. Beth earned an MFA in Sculpture from the Massachusetts College of Art, has been teaching woodworking since 1984, and is a regular instructor at schools including The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. From her studio in St. Petersburg, Florida, she produces a wide variety of work for commissions, from custom musical instruments to architectural elements.
Beth has also been the subject of profiles in such publications as Woodcraft and Woodworker’s Journal that highlight her love of teaching — and learning. Learn more at bethireland.net.
Professional woodturner Matt Monaco produces beautifully crafted bowls, plates, and platters from his studio in the Ozark region of Missouri. Combining thoughtful design and precise technique, Matt uses a standard lathe and turning tools to produce wood pieces that echo the precision and elegance of traditional pottery, creating a unique style that he rightfully describes as “wood-carved pottery.”
As the founder and owner of Monaco Bowls, Matt designs and creates turned products for homeowners, gallery buyers, museum stores, and interior designers. With 18 years of turning experience, Matt has worked with such masters of the craft as Richard Raffan, and, in addition to producing his own work, he demonstrates for national woodturning clubs of the AAW, and teaches at woodworking schools across the country.
Matt is a fantastic teacher with a gift for sharing his knowledge and we are delighted to have him here at Southwest School of Woodworking.
Owner, Woodsong Studio
Kelly Parker is a designer and maker of contemporary studio furniture and sculpture. After graduating with a degree in Biochemistry she worked in the corporate world for 18 years before, in 2009, she shucked the safety of the corporate world and decided to make her living as a woodworker. She has taken numerous design and technique classes at the the Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Marc Adams School of Woodworking, was awarded a professional development grant from the Furniture Society, and was the first recipient of a professional development grant awarded by the Krenov Foundation. Her work has been featured in Fine Woodworking, Australian Wood Review, and Rooted: Creating a Sense of Place: Contemporary Studio Furniture. Kelly’s work often incorporates other materials such as metal, glass and acrylic. She is a passionate advocate for the craft and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others.
Jessica first started woodworking just a few years ago, but has quickly become an accomplished woodworker, with a special interest in turning. She has studied under Jimmy Clewes and other leading instructors and now teaches regular classes on turning pens, bowls, spindles, and other forms. She especially enjoys introducing new turners to the craft.
A native of northern Michigan, John has called Phoenix home since the early 80’s. He became interested in woodworking several years ago and successfully completed the demanding course at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery. John was employed for many year at De La Madera Studio in Scottsdale (untill the owner retired), and is now employed by another high end cabinet shop, Allaire Inc. where he builds high-end custom furniture for the interior design trade, including window shutters, office furniture, and kitchen cabinets. But he hasn’t given up luthiery, and enjoys building ukuleles in his spare time.