Fall Seminar

2016 Seminar - Jeff Miller

September 16-17-18, 2016

Jeff Miller turned to wood-working after a career as a classical musician, and brings a musician’s sensibility

to his furniture designs. He has been designing and building award-winning furniture in his Chicago studio for over

30 years and has participated in numerous juried shows in galleries and museums across the country.

Although he makes a wide variety of furniture, Jeff’s greatest interest is in designing and building chairs,

and he has developed more than thirty different chair designs over the years.


Jeff has written four books: Chairmaking and Design (Linden Publishing), Beds (Taunton Press),

Children’s Furniture (Taunton Press), and The Foundations of Better Woodworking (Popular Woodworking Books).

He has also contributed to Taunton’s Furniture for All Around the House and Storage Projects for All Around the House.

Chairmaking and Design, and its companion DVD Chairmaking Techniques (Taunton Press), both won

Stanley Tools/National Association of Home and Workshop Writers “Golden Hammer” awards for best

how-to book and video in 1997. Jeff writes frequently for “Fine Woodworking” and “Popular Woodworking”

magazines and teaches around the country. His next book, on designing furniture, is in the works.


The Friday evening lecture will be a slide presentation of Jeff's work and an open question and answer session.

During the Saturday and Sunday sessions, Jeff will be demonstrating chairmaking techniques while he builds and

assembles a chair. He will also cover chair design and give us his insights from his many years of chair building.

Jeff‘s book Chairmaking and Design will be included as part of the seminar cost.


The focus of this seminar will be the construction of two chairs: a tall slat-back chair (it looks like this),

and a Chippendale-style chair (which looks like this). The two chairs are quite different in style,

and Jeff will approach the builds differently. The slat-back chair will be built with a combination of

machines and hand tools, while the Chippendale chair will be built using mostly hand tools.


Although the overall presentation is about chairmaking, the seminar can be seen as a class on advanced techniques

in shaping and joining wood. Jeff will talk about ways to lay out and smooth elegant curves,and how to approach joinery

when you have curved parts. Jeff will also cover a variety of methods for cutting mortise and tenon joints

(both with machines and by hand), and fitting these joints to perfection. You'll learn how to figure out and control

the angles in the chairs and in the joinery. Jeff will cover the broadly useful technique of bent lamination,

used here as a way to make strong and flexible slats. And there will be discussions of sophisticated

techniques and tips and tricks for working with consistency and accuracy throughout.


You can visit Jeff's website at http://www.furnituremaking.com/ to see an overview of his work


Registration for the weekend seminar includes:

3-day seminar – Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday
Breakfast rolls, donuts, coffee and juice provided Saturday and Sunday morning
Catered hot meal lunch – Saturday and Sunday
Soft drinks, coffee and snacks provided all day

Jeff's book - Chairmaking and Design




The chair Jeff builds during the seminar will be raffled off on Sunday, with the proceeds going to

the San Diego Woodturners Turn Around for Veterans - a program for wounded veterans.



$125 - SDFWA members
$155 - non-members (includes 2016 SDFWA membership)

Dates & Times

Friday, Saturday, Sunday   September 16-17-18, 2016

Friday 7pm – 9pm, Saturday 8am – 4pm, Sunday 8am – 3pm


San Diego School for Creative & Performing Arts

2425 Dusk Drive  <<< click for Google map

San Diego, CA 92139

Driving Directions

Go South on I-5 or I-805 towards National City, and take 54 heading East.

Take the Reo Drive exit off of 54.

Turn left (North), then take the first right onto Parkside Ave.

Proceed about 3/4 mile, then turn left onto Dusk Dr.

Proceed about 1/2 mile, then the School for Creative and Performing Arts will be on the right.


Ed Gladney, Seminar Chair