Take the Plunge: Basic Timber Framing Course Reflections

Guest Writer: John M.

When is the last time you purposely stopped what you were doing in your life, to make room for trying something brand new? For me, it’s been a long time.

I have wanted to take a Timberframe course for at least four years, and likely more like six.

At one point, I was on a waiting list for a course a couple years ago–and when they called to tell me I was in, I declined. Too busy, too much to do, too many reasons why I couldn’t take the course. 

And then Avon Hills Folk School came up with the exact course I wanted to take, right in my back yard. I bit the bullet. I cleared my schedule, I guarded my time and committed five full days to my Timberframe initiation. 

Am I ever glad that I did what I did. The course was fantastic. Clark Bremer instructed us. His approach was to get us right into the “making” part of the program. Mapping out a plan, charting our course, we measured and marked our timbers, and starting cutting. 

Hesitant cuts on the first day, became confident cuts on our fifth day. Respect for the craft and satisfaction for our accomplishments brought us all together. Chisels, hammers, drills and saws… harmonized in the shop as we finalized our fit and finish of our Timberframe sauna project. 

The days spent at Avon Hills Folk School were salve for my soul. This is something I would like to do at least once a year. Just hit the “off” button, immerse myself in something new, and come out the other side with a lifelong skill, and deeper perspective about what it is in life that gives it meaning for me.

I would encourage anyone and everyone to do the take a course at Avon Hills Folk School.

Try it. Take the plunge. And when you do, you might just find a part of yourself that you left sitting beside the road a while back–a part that when you find it again makes you realize how valuable it is to you, and how much you have missed it.


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