Faculty & Staff: Expert Woodworking and Furniture Making In Action

Masterpiece School of Furniture (MSF) is a state-of-the-art woodworking school that creates an inspirational environment in which professionals and non-professionals are skillfully mentored in the superior techniques and exquisite fine art of furniture making.

James Bowie: CEO, Master Furniture Maker, Senior Instructor

Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, James Bowie has been hand crafting fine furniture since 1966.  Following the completion of a four-year apprenticeship, he attended the Barmulloch College in Glasgow, where he received the prestigious City and Guilds for Woodworking. After working for furniture makers, cabinet makers, and antique restorers, he owned a successful business with several employees and apprentices in Glasgow.

James brought his talents to America in 1992, and has since been commissioned to create truly outstanding pieces of furniture throughout America and has established a unique niche with a discerning clientele who appreciate his unique style and expert craftsmanship.

James has sold and displayed his masterpieces throughout the United States and Europe. His work has been on display in the San Francisco Design Center and the Laguna Festival of Arts. James is also included in the book titled “Custom Furniture Makers”. He has also won prizes at the San Diego Fine Woodworking Show in Del Mar, CA.

In 1997 he opened the first Masterpiece School of Furniture in Ft. Bragg, California where he instructed students from all over the country in the fine art of furniture making. He moved the school to Marysville, California and now employs a team of other experts to bring the best instructional woodworking and furniture classes to professionals and amateurs.

When not teaching or building stunning furniture, James can be found on his near-by ranch, tending to his 8 beautiful horses – or playing banjo to relax.

Jason McCloskey: Woodworking and Furniture Making Instructor

For more than two decades, Jason McCloskey has been designing and creating objects. He started paying attention to the finer aspects of craft during college while taking a class that involved building sea kayaks.  Since then Jason has worked and learned in many shops from a small unheated space in southwest Colorado, an apprenticeship and teaching position at the Masterpiece School of Furniture, and his own woodworking and furniture making shop in Seattle and now Colorado.  During his time at the Masterpiece School he gained a great appreciation for English period furniture both in the details and the craft skills needed to create such pieces. After his apprenticeship he built his own shop in Seattle, Washington, which was dedicated to building bespoke furniture for clients all over the country.

During McCloskey’s most recent study at the Rhode Island School of Design where he completed his masters work in furniture design, he began combining his woodworking craftsmanship with is passion as an outdoors adventurer. Slot canyons and wild rivers can be seen in Jason’s most recent design work. Craft skills followed him outside as well when he begin making bespoke skis that receive the same attention to detail that is found in his furniture work.

Jason is the owner and visionary behind flitch studios, which was born out of the fusion of design, fine craft, and skis. flitch is a design/make studio based in Golden, Colorado dedicated to creating and designing beautiful objects.

Ron Anderson: Woodworking and Furniture Making Instructor

Ron grew up in Davenport, Iowa and first became interested in wood as a kid helping out in his great uncle’s clock building shop (lots of sanding). While working toward his MFA in Design at the University of Iowa, Ron spent nine years building furniture at Wooden Company in Iowa City, Iowa. He then went on to become a high school industrial arts teacher.  Ron enjoys building contemporary furniture, the satisfaction of working with hand tools, and a great cup of coffee. He has recently relocated to the Yuba City/ Marysville community from Denver Colorado with his wife Heather and their Wiemariner, Odie.

Vincent Wilcoxen: Woodworking and Furniture Making Instructor

Vincent’s woodworking interests began after he and his father attended a rodeo at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.  Intrigued by the show’s redwood sign carver, he bought a router, had a machine shop fabricate some custom bits, and practiced for a year or so developing skills. His father sold the jobs and he produced the work.  Thus, he had his first woodworking business from ages 12 to 17.

In 1990 after years as a finish carpenter in the Sacramento area, Vincent joined a unique woodworking coop in Honolulu rich with an eclectic group of artists and craftspeople offering a broad range of knowledge and skills. The next seven years were essentially an ongoing furniture class where he learned design processes, machinery and tooling, fabrication, the nature of different woods, and various finishing techniques.  He followed this chapter in his life by opening a business in Los Angles that specialized in designing furnishings and accessories revolving around exotic automobiles.  Soon afterwards, Vincent returned to crafting custom furniture and now divides his time between his role as a construction manager and that of an artist/furniture maker (and great instructor!). 

Russ McAnulty: Woodworking and Furniture Making Instructor

Russ is a multi-talented woodworker who produces furniture, carvings, turnings, and sculpted pieces of art, as well as making many of his own tools. He has been a part-time cabinetmaker, carver, turner and woodworker since 1975.    He worked for two years with a master cabinetmaker building kitchens, entertainment centers, china cabinets and other pieces.  Russ attended several summer sessions at the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program prior to applying and attending full-time for the 2006-2007 school year.  Since graduating from the Fine Woodworking Program, he has been a full-time worker in wood.  He recently attended two different classes at Craft Supplies USA in Provo, Utah, taught by professional world-renowned turners.  Russ has shops in Yuba City and Fort Bragg, CA.  He is currently in his second year as the co-president of the Mendocino Woodturner’s Guild in Fort Bragg, CA, which is a program devoted to promoting and teaching the craft of turning wood.

Adrian Ferrazzutti: Woodworking and Furniture Making Instructor

Adrian Ferrazzutti has been immersed in art, woodworking, and fine furniture all his life. Growing up as an only child in Ontario, he watched his German-born grandfather carve logs and antlers into whimsical animal sculptures. Both Ferrazzutti’s mother and his grandparents were antique dealers who liked to live with many of their finds before selling them, so he was always surrounded by extraordinary furniture and artifacts.

Adrian is a 1998 graduate of the Fine Woodworking Program at the College of the Redwoods in California, where he studied for two years with James Krenov.  The Canada Council for the Arts has awarded him several grants, and his work has been exhibited across Canada and in the United States including Toronto, New York & Chicago.  He is a contributing writer for Fine Woodworking magazine, which featured one of his chairs on the back cover of the December, 2007 issue, and his work has been widely published in books and magazines.  The furniture Ferrazzutti produces these days in the shop he shares with five other craftsmen in Guelph, Ontario, reveals an excellent eye for form and line coupled with engineering savvy. Adrian works independently as well as in collaboration with architects and interior designers to create unique work for private residences.

Jeff Shallenberger, Woodworking and Furniture Making Instructor

Jefferson Shallenberger’s woodworking career began during a humble summer course in northern California.  This casual investigation into the field ended up thwarting his plans to become a school teacher and marked the beginning of a new profession.  Jeff spends countless hours in his woodshop building custom furniture and cabinetry and, in the last three years, has also run a custom drum company. Jeff was formally trained through cabinet shop apprenticeships and employment, followed by two years at the College of the Redwoods fine Woodworking Program in Fort Bragg, CA.  He currently runs his shop out of Santa Cruz, CA.   According to Jeff, he’s only had 4 bad days in the business and will likely continue this love affair with woodworking until he keels over, donates a hand to the machinery, or marries wealthy.

Lisa Nichols: Executive Director

Lisa has over two decades of experience running small businesses and designing their operations and infrastructures.  Her specialty is vocational schools and she has worked to influence the curricula and administrative functioning of several state approved schools in California.  She manages the administrative operations and business development aspects of Masterpiece School of Furniture.  Her love of woodworking came from her dad who, with her mother, built the house they grew up in.  The family spent summer vacations finishing what turned out to be a 20-year woodworking and building project.  She helped her father build much of the furniture in the house and she spent many a Saturday afternoon being mentored by him in woodworking skills.  Though she sits in front a computer all day long now, the smell of sawdust still floods her with sweet memories.

Maricel Bowie: Office Manager

Maricel has experience in organizational and administrative roles and brings those talents to Masterpiece School as our Office Manager. She manages the administrative side of the school, is the first contact point for students, and takes care of many of the facility responsibilities, such as scheduling gallery showings, and woodworking and furniture making demonstrations.

Interested in becoming an Instructor with Masterpiece School of Furniture?

Have a great idea for a woodworking or furniture making class?

If so, we’d love to hear from you.  Prospective Instructors can get more information on how to apply for a teaching position with MSF by clicking here.

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