AYDEN, N.C. - While some craft schools offer woodturning or furniture classes, the owner of The North Carolina Furniture School in Ayden, North Carolina, Stuart Kent, says his school is the only dedicated furniture school in the state.
Kent had taught university-level courses before deciding to open his furniture school which originated in Winterville, North Carolina in 2014.
“People that I met wanted access to the type of classes I was teaching at the university and the college level, so I started out with private classes and then decided to do the school full-time,” Said Kent. “I was doing furniture on commission and this for a while, but the school is really the focus now.”
Ranging from single-day workshops to month-long classes, attendance in his classes varies, but Kent has been excited to see more young people and women taking an interest in the craft.
“Some are hobbyists who just want a creative outlet, some are professionals with high stress jobs who do it for stress relief, and some are entrepreneurs looking to take up a skill not so many people have anymore as the number of woodworking shops has dropped off,” said Kent. “There’s a lot of value in well-made crafted objects, and I’m happy to play a part in keeping that tradition alive.”
Kent held an open house on Aug. 18 at the relocated school in Ayden which was welcomed by those who attended including Ben Trimpi, an instructor at Pitt Community College, and Mike Harris, Ayden commissioner.
“He does really good work,” said Trimpi. “He’s got drive, and if a place like this is going to make a difference, he’s the one to do it.”
The North Carolina Furniture School is located at 503 Second St in Ayden, North Carolina.
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