Wednesday, October 26, 2011


As the woodworking teacher at Juneau-Douglas High School, I like to promote the idea of wood as art. We create pieces as artists considering weight, texture, contrast, formation and transformation. I tell my students that we do the same thing as a painter or as a potter; the only difference is that we use wood.

In my classes students have the opportunity to create pieces around their own personal style.  Beginning students complete two required projects which introduce them to the safe use and maintenance of hand and power tools in addition to wood characteristics and properties. Their style is manifested in stock selection, and customized accents. The students in the advanced classes have the opportunity to create projects of their choice. From cutting boards to skis, to decorative boxes, to furniture students create and customize with few stipulations. I try to impress upon them that each piece needs to be thought of as a functional piece of art, and it needs to be completed to the best of their abilities.

          I feel fortunate to have the job of a woodworking teacher. I get to work with hundreds of individuals who have endless ideas. My skills in design and execution are often challenged which makes my personal woodworking better. Through woodworking my students and I have developed mutually beneficial relationships; we inspire each other’s work, we push each other towards new styles, we feed off of each other’s energy, and we learn from each other’s mistakes.

      Please use the tabs at the top of the page to look through our Gallery of Student Work and feel free to ask us any questions or leave comments.

Thank you, Mr. Dukes