The Francis Cope House
One Awbury Road
Philadelphia, PA 19138
From Tree to Table: The Botany of Woodworking
Saturday, November 3rd
10:00am - 12:30pm
The Francis Cope House
at Awbury Arboretum
One Awbury Road, Philadelphia, PA 19138
Ever wonder why the wood in your furniture works the way it does? Ever wonder how the tree that wood came from grew, or why some woods split differently than others do, or why they are different colors and textures?
This program, a joint enterprise between an experienced woodworker and a trained botanist, will answer these questions, and more. Beginning with an illustrated talk about his hands-on knowledge of woodworking, Ernie Sesskin will discuss different properties of wood and how they affect his work. This will lay out questions that will be answered by David Hewitt, who will explain how trees grow, how wood develops and why different woods have different properties. Weather permitting, the program will be followed by a walk on the grounds of Awbury Arboretum, where we will see some of the trees from which these products come.
Light refreshments will be served, including canelés from Market Day Canelé: www.marketdaycanele.com. Cost - $35
David Hewitt has been working with plants and animals for over twenty years, beginning in his early twenties working on farms in upstate New York. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D in biology from Harvard University, and he was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow in Washington, DC, where he worked on agricultural and environmental policy issues. He is a lecturer at Penn, a research associate in the Department of Botany at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and owner of Communicating Research, LLC, a firm specializing in developing products that enable everyone to understand the data rich world that we live in today. He is also a frequent contributor to Growing History, the Historic Plants Consortium:
Ernie Sesskin, along with his partner Brian Foster, runs Groundwork, LLC (www.groundworkhome.com), where for decades they have designed furniture that’s made to last, out of materials that have stood the test of time. Ernie is a graduate of the California College of Art, and he and the Groundwork team frequently host interns from Philadelphia University (formerly Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science). He has extensive woodworking experience and for many years has worked with Amish woodworkers in Lancaster County, which has given him the opportunity to extend and deepen his understanding of furniture production of the highest quality. The Groundwork studio in Germantown is testament to the quality of their work.Illustration above by Paula Hewitt Amram