— INSTRUCTORS —
Texture, color, and the element of surprise—these are the words that come to mind when considering the work of California designer and furniture maker Michael Cullen. Whether he’s building a large slab table or a case piece with a carved surface or one of his signature bandsawn boxes, Michael draws on his artist’s eye and his training as an engineer and studio furniture designer to make each piece uniquely his. Over the past decade, Michael’s work has been shown and collected all over the world.
Although most people know Michael Fortune as an innovative and prolific designer and maker of contemporary furniture, he’s also devoted a significant segment of his time to designing wood products for manufacture in developing economies such as Trinidad, Belize, Mexico, and Guyana. He often travels to these countries to train those involved, working with international aid agencies or private sponsors. He also teaches at schools and craft centers around the world, and when he’s lucky enough to be at home in his studio in Canada, makes some pretty amazing furniture too.
Chris Gochnour has been building fine furniture for homes and offices throughout the Salt Lake City area for more than 30 years and has been teaching fine woodworking techniques across the country and at his studio in Utah for almost that long. He’s an expert on traditional building techniques and on hand tools—especially hand tools. has a passion for using, and sometimes making, planes, saws, chisels, spokeshaves, scrapers and anything else that helps him with his work. Something of a rag-picker, Chris takes great satisfaction from finding old and neglected hand tools and giving them a second chance at life.
A renowned wood turner who’s been doing it professionally all his adult life, Mike Mahoney has made bowls and other vessels that are featured in galleries across the United States, and collectors all over the world seek out his work. But Mike’s main focus when turning has always been for his pieces to be used. “For my work to be admired is one thing, but for my work to be used fulfills my purpose as a craftsman.” Mike has taught and demonstrated the craft to experienced and potential turners at schools, clubs, and other venues worldwide.
It’s become more and more apparent to his co-workers over the years that Michael Pekovich is the face of the Fine Woodworking franchise. As creative director of the magazine, his job is to communicate how-to in a clear, inspiring way, and he does that remarkably well. But he’s also a widely popular Instagram personality, an author (The Why & How of Woodworking; The Taunton Press 2018), a woodworking teacher, and a professional furniture maker. “For me, making furniture is a connection to the wood, but also a connection to people. I like making things, but I like it more knowing they will find a use in a good home.”
Vic Tesolin is a studio furniture maker, technical adviser at Lee Valley Tools, former editor of Canadian Woodworking magazine, lover of hand tools, and author (The Minimalist Woodworker; Spring House Press, 2015). Those who have frequented woodworking shows in the past have probably met Vic at some point over a handplane demonstration and had a chance to chat about hand tools or life in Canada. He’s pretty passionate about both, and about woodworking in general. As he says on his website, “The only sure way to be successful at the bench is to actually be at the bench. In order to understand, you must do.”