Utilizing machine power and traditional hand tools to finely craft chairs, tables, boxes, lathe-turned bowls, pens, carving, marquetry, inlay, stools, and other items, students work closely with supervisor Ben Blackmar and local professionals to hone their trade.

I love being on my Crew because it has given me an opportunity to be a part of a program that is unique. Before coming to the college I had never been given a chance to develop an interest in Woodworking, and Warren Wilson gave me that chance. The biggest lesson that I have learned on this crew is that failure is simply a part of the process. Woodworking is a difficult craft. To me, this is what makes it so incredibly rewarding.

Tristan Perryman


Portrait of the Warren Wilson College Fine Woodworking crew by Matthew Tennant ’18.

Supervisor Spotlight

Ben Blackmar

Ben Blackmar is a graduate of North Bennet Street School’s Cabinet and Furniture Making program and earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia. He’s spent over 20 years working, teaching and writing about woodworking trades, giving him a unique depth of industry and teaching experience. He has served as a teacher and guide at Boston’s Eliot School, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Penland School of Craft and Warren Wilson College. He has also worked alongside some of the industry’s most respected leaders through his work, as well as writing and photographing for Fine Woodworking Magazine and numerous other woodworking periodicals. Blackmar is deeply passionate about woodcraft, creativity, and tradition – especially helping others as they begin to relate to the world through the crafter’s lens. “Connecting to our physical world is essential to understanding it. By doing this through craft, we gain confidence and learn more deeply about the world around us and who we are as well.”

What You’ll Learn

You’ll spend years working alongside your peers with the mentorship of your supervisors.  Part of the experience of work at Warren Wilson is guided critical reflection, which helps ensure that you achieve both your own educational goals as well as our Common Learning Outcomes. These intentional learning outcomes distinguish our Work Program, giving it focus and relevancy that set it apart from a federal work-study or your average part-time job. 

Our Common Learning Outcomes:

  • Professionalism & Work Ethic: accountability, effective work habits, punctuality, dependability, time management, integrity, and commitment to the well-being of the community.
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: working with available resources to creatively address issues and solve problems, and gaining confidence to make decisions.
  • Communication: the ability to convey and receive information effectively with intentionality, honesty, and confidence in both speech and writing.
  • Collaboration & Teamwork: actively collaborate with peers to achieve common goals, Distribute labor fairly, and hold each other accountable as committed members of a group.
  • Civic Identity: understanding your active influence within the community and how your decisions directly impact the work around you.

In addition to our Common Learning Outcomes, each crew in the Work Program identifies crew-specific goals for learning and performance. These are reviewed with you each semester. Your crew-specific learning goals outline skills and abilities your supervisor will teach you during the semester.