About the School
Guided by respect for classical woodworking techniques, respect for the materials, and the dignity of labor, the woodworking school was created to provide a venue for teaching the time honored tradition of woodcrafting and lutherie.
The woodshop is located in the Burkhart Building, a victorian era textile mill at 1010 Preston Street, Louisville Kentucky. The shop is fully outfitted with table saws, jointers, planers, band saws, chisels, sanders, drill presses, a dust collection system, clamps, finishing facilities and more.
Ted Harlan is a graduate of the Berea College and a product of the rich Berea, KY crafts heritage. While in Berea, he had the opportunity to study with many of this country’s finest and best known woodcrafters. He served as an assistant to master wood turner Rude Osolnik for two years and ran the Westervelt endowed woodcraft community program for three years. Since 1987, he has operated a full time woodworking studio, where he has created work ranging from store design and fixturing to architectural woodworking and one of a kind commissioned pieces of furniture, as well as individual instruction. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution Craft show, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Orange Co. Museum of Art in California. Internationally, he has shown his work in Paris France, Munich Germany, and has had a show of his work tour Great Britain.
Amanda is a Louisville native with strong ties to the community. She has always enjoyed learning new things and being a maker whether it be woodworking, sewing, cooking, gardening, DIY projects, or insect collecting. In 2015, she left her career in Medical Practice Management to become a full-time woodworker. Since then, she has been working at the school assisting Ted and in 2018, she began teaching classes in woodturning. She has not had work exhibited in Philadelphia, D.C, California, France or Germany, but she has been to bars in all of those places.
TJ Burch grew up in Frankfort, KY and studied psychology at the University of Louisville. After graduation, he served as a Marine Corps intelligence officer for 9 years. Always interested in working with his hands and building things, TJ renovated old houses and built new homes before taking over as manager of his wife’s medical practice in 2010. He was first introduced to fine woodworking while taking a guitar-building class with Ted Harlan in 2012. Since then, he has built his portfolio as a craftsman, bowl turner and luthier both in his home shop and as an instructor at Ted’s shop. He is an acoustic guitar building instructor and offers workshops in sharpening and advanced handplane techniques. He is married and lives in Louisville with two daughters and a German Shepherd, Nellie.
“my ‘aha’ moment came when I came across Ted Harlan, a Louisville craftsman who teaches furniture building and – yes – guitar making. And what makes Ted’s classes different is that, rather than a concentrated series of classes over a few weeks, they take place over the course of a year or more. It was perfect. An excellent teacher with a proven system; a reasonable time commitment; and it was affordable.”
- John Harris, student