Presentations, Marquetry & Woodworking Classes


I offer lectures for museums, universities, trade schools and clubs that can be fit into a two hour, one day, or an evening lecture followed by two day demonstration. Please contact us for more specific information.

Click here to see recent class pictures

  • Marquetry – Historical Pieces to the Present Day
  • Decorative Veneering for cabinet shops
  • Intuitive Furniture Design
  • Wood as Material used in Society
  • The Business Side of Woodworking
  • Drawing for Blueprints
  • Curves in Furniture
  • Joinery- Where to use What
  • Sharpening Hand tools

Sample – Two-hour Lecture

Sharpening Hand tools: Getting the most out of your hand tools. Learn how to maintain, store, use and sharpen your chisels, hand planes and knifes to a razor edge. Create the perfectly honed tool that will make the hair leap off your arm trying to avoid the sharp edge!

Curves in furniture: Have you ever wanted to create a flowing arc component or curved doors to use in your furniture designs? Learn how to draw and create curved components from hand shaping, curved laminating, vacuum forming or routing from templates. Working with curves can add a new dimension to any project, and we will cover the different ways in which to create the perfect curve.

Sample – One-day Demonstration

Decorative Veneering for Cabinet Shops: This class is geared for the small to mid-size shops that make kitchen cabinets, limited production runs of entertainment centers, bedroom furniture, vehicle components and small accessory type furniture that are interested in exploring the possibility of incorporating veneer into their products. Having the knowledge and the capability of veneering can yield projects that will be higher end, and more diversified from what the shop currently does. Veneering offers the chance to take the business into a new area of woodwork that can be profitable. Participants will learn the fundamentals of veneering including purchasing, flattening, storing and handling and basic cutting. Everyone will see how creating basic matches and adding borderwork can greatly enhance a veneered project. Design theory, principals for clean-cut joints, assembling techniques, sub straight and adhesive selection, radial and book matching production techniques, and using finishes appropriate for veneer. We will also cover the use of various hand and machine tools used for veneering and gluing of flat panels and curved work.

Joinery – Where to use what: Joinery is one of the most basic and timeless foundations of furniture making, playing an important role in the strength and aesthetics in a piece of furniture. Deciding which one to use can be a confusing task, from understand the basics, to planning out the more elaborate joints used in woodwork. Dominos, biscuits, dovetails, mortise and tennon to nails, and achieving great results using hand tools, or jigs with common power tools. In this class, chips and dust will fly!

Sample – Evening Lecture with Two-day Demonstration

Marquetry – Historical Pieces to the Present Day: This presentation is a comprehensive view into the world of veneering, inlay and marquetry, from historical techniques to the modern day creation of marquetry. Practical application of materials and techniques that can be done with a minimum of tooling while yielding fast and professional results is the focus of this presentation. It will start by designing original artwork for a panel which will be drawn out, cut, sand shaded, assembled, glued up and finished during this 2 ½ day event. There are many different styles and techniques of creating marquetry, so, describing the various differences then demonstrating what works will illuminate how simple this process can actually be for someone just starting out.

Two Day Workshops

I offer a selection of two day classes at a number of schools, clubs and shops, including the Woodcraft Stores.
  • Beginning Veneering and Marquetry
  • Woodworking for the Teacher
  • Jewelry Box with a Veneered Top
  • The Chess and Backgammon Board
  • 20” round Marquetry Serving Tray
  • Practical Furniture Design
  • Hand Planes and Hand Tools
  • Joinery- Dovetails and Beyond
  • Making Curves in Furniture
  • Vacuum forming, pressing and laminating
2 day jewelry box marquetry class taught by Paul Schürch

Jewelry Box with Veneer Class taught by Paul Schürch in 2 days

Here is a sample of the 2-day ‘Jewelry Box with Veneer’ class syllabus:

Two Day Class

This class is an instructional hands-on two day workshop and one evening lecture that covers the fundamentals of making a 8″ x 14″ x 4″ customized solid wood jewelry box with a decoratively veneered top with master furniture maker Paul Schürch. Paul will cover many of the design aspects and challenges of combining solid wood with veneer and each student should be able to compete a fine exotic wood box with a veneer, parquetry or veneer pattern on the top lid. The first day will be dedicated to finalizing the box design, selecting veneers and hardwoods and creating the decorative veneer work using a variety of hand and machine tools. The class will progress onto the pattern assembly and gluing up the veneer panel, after which the solid wood will be selected and milled until joint work is done. The second day will be dedicated to sanding and finishing the veneer work, constructing the lid that will house the panel, fitting and sanding the box components, gluing the box together, and assembling it all by the end of the second day. The class is relatively fast paced and each student should have some basic table saw and joiner experience to complete this project. If there is enough time on the second day, final finishing of the box can be done. This should be an exciting and informative class and will be full of tips, techniques and ideas that you can take home with you and apply to later projects. Class size is limited to ten people and you should supply your own tools veneer and supplies from the list provided. Paul recommends that each student to view his book and DVD on ‘Decorative Veneering’ prior to the class, since the better prepared you are, the more you will benefit from this great class.

Required items students should bring to class, or be purchased at the store:

  1. Veneer for a 4-way book match and border veneer (‘Decorative Veneering Pack’)
  2. Solid hardwood lumber milled S4S, to ¾” x 4” x 48” (stock available at WC store) – ¾” 3M 2090 blue painters tape, Veneer saw with a knife edge sharpening file, small hand plane, cabinet scraper, half round pattern file, 6 inch 90º square, pencil, 6” / 150mm steel rule, small chisels including one 1 ½” chisel, Ex-acto #11 blade and handle, hearing and eye protection and sandpaper The box hinges and screws should be available at the store. The WC-JB kit supplied to each student contains: Shop note handouts for the box project, MDF veneer core, box bottom plywood, Veneer pattern sketch and casework blueprints, screws, two practice veneer sheets, two paper chip boards, veneer gum tape, plastic bag, 2x) bushing canvas for glue-up.

Class is from 9am-6pm on both days and Slide lecture is from 6:30pm to 8pm on Friday.

Veneer Jewelry Box ClassVeneer Jewelry Box Class
Veneer Jewelry Box ClassVeneer Jewelry Box Class

Five Day Workshops


The 2014 classes of Advanced Veneering and Marquetry are intensive five-day workshop seminars held in my shop here in Santa Barbara, CA. They include project-oriented studies of decorative veneering, inlay and marquetry techniques, which I currently use in creating fine furniture. These classes are limited to 6 students, which allows for much personal attention to be given to each student, who will create and complete at least two take-home projects.

The prerequisite for the Advanced Class is either to have attended a one-week Basic Veneering class, or to have attended a one-day seminar and have good experience working with veneer in the past. You are also eligible if you own some type of a veneer press, and have completed at least two decorative panels that are shown in my video and book ‘Decorative Veneering’.

The students attending this class need to be intimately familiar with the techniques I use in Decorative Veneering, so the class can move as a whole into the next level of advanced marquetry, bookmatches, radial matches, and intricate inlay banding. Applying the fundamental veneering skills, which you can learn prior to the class from the video, will help you to achieve the next level of advanced marquetry. I use these basic skills myself for achieving successfully veneered projects.

For these classes, we will cover all aspects of inlay and design and have access to detailed information, from the planning stages of a project to the finished product. The hours will be 9am to 5pm – Tuesday through Saturday. On Wednesday evening there will be a presentation that is open to the general public from 6 to 8pm.

The cost of this Advanced Class is $790. – with an additional $90.- material fee for a total of $880. – There is a $150 deposit fee (applied to the total cost) to hold your space for this class. There is no deposit refund after Oct. 1 if you cancel the class.

The two dvd & books is available through my website (or you can call to place an order) or it is also available at a few clubs, libraries, and other distributor outlets (Cambium Books, TWC, Woodworker West) beside myself. You will want to view this video at least six weeks before the class.

Hotels in Santa Barbara can be expensive, so make your reservation early. The range is from $50 to $250 per night for hotels and around $150 per night for a bed and breakfast. Most hotels are a few blocks from the beach. There are accommodations in Goleta and Carpenteria that cost less, and RV parks (Sunnyland RV) that can range from $35 to $50 per/night.

A few numbers that might be helpful – Free hotel reservation service at (800-793-7666) – Lemon Tree Inn (805-687-6444) around $90 p/day – Adobe Hotel (805-966-5505) around $45 p/day – Holiday Inn (800-549-1700) around $145 p/day. You will need to provide your own transportation to and from the shop/class, and there is a city bus that runs by the shop from downtown or the waterfront area. Bikes are also available to rent near most hotels.

To register for the class, please call for availability and an application form:
Paul Schürch
731 Bond Ave.
Santa Barbara, California, 93103, USA
Tel (805) 965-3821 • Fax (805) 966-5426

Basic Decorative Veneering Five Day Classes

My goal for the ‘Decorative Veneering’ class is to present projects that will show each student what is possible in the art of veneering and inlay. This will be a class devoted to lecture and demonstrations with hands-on experience for each student. Each student will learn basic veneering up to advanced inlay and border work techniques depending on individual skill and experience. I would encourage students to bring designs of their furniture projects for constructive critique. This week will be quite intense with the amount of information that will be covered and the curriculum that I wish to complete. I will be showing my own drawings to cover design in more detail, and if there is time and interest, I will cover the process of advanced production marquetry, stone, metal and wood inlay. Each student will take home two completed projects, and have contributed to a larger group project using marquetry skills that everyone has learned during the week.

Syllabus for Basic Decorative Veneering
Day 1:

Talk: Introduction and history of Veneer and tools used. Furniture design using veneers, purchasing, flattening, storing and handling.

Demonstration and project: Handling, flattening, rough cutting and basic joining techniques using the veneer saw, shooting board with 07 plane, and knifing techniques.

Day 2:

Talk: Patterns of the background veneer. (Bookmatching, Slip, Diamond, Starburst etc..) Effective use of veneers and burls to achieve maximum results.

Demonstration and project: Starburst, 4 way match, masking tape and gum taping. Guidance on individual projects if applicable. Slide show of techniques in progress used in burl joining and patching, 16 piece radial match background, strip inlay and borderwork. Portfolio slide show of furniture.

Day 3:

Talk: Drafting and design. Wood movement and veneerwork. Creating borderwork and inlay strips. Edging and core materials. Scissors, Knife and scroll saw cutting for borderwork. Student drawing, design critique and troubleshooting.

Demonstration and project: Finish creating veneer background with inlay strip and border work. Create sample of advanced borderwork.

Day 4:

Talk: Core construction, edging, glues, curved work, odd shapes, single ply vs. three ply veneer, backing veneers and vacuum bags. Filling, sanding and finishing with oils, lacquer and French polish.

Demonstration and project: Glue up of edging around core then veneer onto core. Create curved form and glue up curved core.

Day 5:

Talk: Advanced veneering, parquetry and marquetry. Slide show of packet cutting, contour cutting, knife work, inlay and antique marquetry repair.

Demonstration and project: Glue sample onto curved core, Freehand knife, scroll saw and inlay techniques. Finish individual projects.

Specialty Workshops

Specialty Workshops and Skill Building Classes

These are hands-on classes of different topics, ranging from Furniture Making, Marquetry with Stone to Project oriented classes, designed to advance woodworkers to the next skill level of fine craft. They range between five and ten days, depending upon the subject matter, student skill level and classroom setup. Please contact us to customize a class to suit your clubs needs.

  • Design and Build a Game Table
  • Building the Veneered Cabinet
  • Build a Jewelry box with Marquetry
  • Practical Furniture Design – Concept, Mock-up to Blueprints
  • Traditional Woodworking Techniques
  • Stone Marquetry – Pietra Dure
Please contact us for further information:

Paul Schürch
731 Bond Ave.
Santa Barbara, California, 93103, USA
Tel.# (805) 965-3821 • Fax.# (805) 966-5426

Practical Furniture Design

This class is about learning the process of designing and teaching design that can be original, establishing a clear approach so mistakes are minimized, fulfills a project goal, and establishes a foundation in practical furniture design for woodworkers. For those who are creating complex furniture, teaching design, or just starting out, it should give a valuable and fresh insight on the design process and how to envision and create a shop drawing that is essential to a smooth building process.

From the concepts, drafting, mock-ups, structural planning and general design theory will be covered in this class. These are all important steps that will assist you in creating any type of woodworking project, and will allow you to take the next step in creating original pieces of furniture.

There will be a 8 page handout supplied to attendees and there will be a 70 page book on Practical Furniture Design by Paul Schürch that includes basic drawing tools of a .05mm pencil, Erasing shield and 6″ / 15 cm pocket Rule that is available.

Designing and Building Veneered Furniture

This 6-day seminar is an opportunity to learn the process of designing and building a piece of veneered furniture. This class will go through the process of how one can design and build a project that shows off the beauty of different woods and veneer matches. The class will start off on Monday with designing and drawing a small table on paper, and the following 5 days will be dedicated to building, veneering the table top and shaping the legs. Time permitting, a finish could be applied and students will have a completed table that anyone can be proud of. Different veneer patterns will be explored, including book and radial matches, piping and inlay, working veneer into solid wood, marquetry, edge banding, and learn the shortcuts that can make a veneered piece of furniture a successful one. Be prepared for a lively week and come to explore the next level of furniture making with this class.

Mentoring Programs

Have you ever wanted a faster way to get the experience you need to do great work? Mentoring is ‘one on one’ instruction, a step above the group seminar, since such a program is tailored to your project, needs, and skill level.

The concept of a Mentoring or Fellowship program is one that usually occurs between a master in his shop and student or client that has his/her own workshop, who is planning to undertake a project above their current perceived skill level. A project can be in the initial design phase or currently being worked on the bench, complicated or simple. This is when a mentoring relationship can begin. These are people wishing to have direct access to a broad base of focused practical skills and knowledge, receiving direct assistance moving to the next level of creating art, furniture making, or simply creating beautiful things with ones own hands and heart.

As we move into a more technological age there is now the opportunity to instruct and teach hand skills in ways inconceivable just a few years ago. This ‘On-line mentoring’ can go beyond the basics of designing of a project, and through phone calls, e-mails, sending pictures and the live interaction of Skype, much can be accomplished. The use of live interactive visual feeds and auto-focusing cameras makes it possible to transfer knowledge and certain hand skills, and will be more common in the future to come.

With this in mind, there will never be a true replacement for meeting face to face, working together, hand on hand guidance for developing specific handwork techniques. This ‘Shop mentoring’ still remains a strong part of this program, and can be between 1 hour and 1 month long, depending upon your needs, the project and your individual situation.

Online, Skype and Phone Consultations

For those wanting only a bit of my time, maybe for solving a particular problem, a material related question, some work or jig building process, or have other questions about furniture, adhesive, or design issues, e-mail me with your available times you could talk to and we will set up a 15 min block of time where we would connect for a one-on one session. My time will be billed out $40. – for every 15 min segment, or $ 150 p/hr.

Project Mentorship Syllabus:

  • You would send either sketches, sample pictures of past work and information on the planned project and I would evaluate it based upon your experience level, the number of pieces needing to be constructed (production or one of a kind) and the overall size and finishing of the project.
  • We would need to discuss the time required to complete the project, the amount of my involvement that would be necessary, any limitations or restrictions (shop space, time, exc…), and what our expectations are of each other. I believe if we are all as fully informed as possible, We can estimate the total cost, and mitigate any problems, before they arise.
  • We create a wish list of techniques or processes to master in order to complete such a project, in order to develop a stylized program that exactly fits your needs.
  • We would plan dates for a Shop mentoring meeting, either at my shop or yours.
  • The client begins the concept sketch, cartoon or mechanical drawing process at home, and confers with me at scheduled ‘On-line Mentoring’ times to discuss progress and options.
  • After the design is far enough along, work begins by you, or collaboratively with my shop, and we have our ‘Shop mentoring’ at some point, if scheduled.
  • I offer continuing on-line support to help see this project through, if needed.

My goal is to help make your ideas a reality, and to pass on some of my skills and experience onto you, in a relaxed, focused and efficient, one on one manner. I hope this has been informative on how modern mentoring happens, and I will look forward to your e-mail at

Online Hand Skills Training Programs

Have you ever wanted a more convenient way to take woodworking classes, get the one on one experience with a pro, to do a project without leaving the comfort of your own shop?

This type of instruction is now becoming a viable reality as an effective tool for teaching hand skills. As we move into a more technological age there is now the opportunity to instruct and teach hand skills in ways inconceivable just a few years ago.

These classes are designed to deliver educational video content on line, with the opportunity to do regularly scheduled, real-time on-line meetings with me to help guide individuals through the process. Students have found that this real-time interaction is extremely beneficial to insure that the project runs smoothly, from the comfort of ones own home or shop.

Each class has: Four short videos, downloadable drawings and material list, information on a optional supply kit for purchase, and would be expected to take 2 to 4 hours per week for four weeks to complete. The timeline is not critical since if you miss a week, you can catch the next week, for those with a busy schedule.

These on-line hand skill classes are currently being edited and should be available in 2015. These classes will be priced at $80 per class, with the optional kit costing $45.

Let us know if you are interested in receiving more information at:

Building a Jewelry Box
(chapter 1 of 4) by Paul Schürch
Class ID: E-JB101

On-line Hand-skills class "Making a Jewelry Box"

Online hand skills class: Making a Jewelry Box (E-JB101) is a compact, skill building, step-by-step, project oriented class, designed to teach the skills to build a 10″ x 15″ x 4″ solid wood jewelry box in your own shop. It is the perfect gift for that special someone.

Decorative Veneering 101
(chapter 1 of 4) by Paul Schürch
Class ID: E-Ven101

On-line hand skills class "Making a Veneer Panel"

Online hand skills class: Making a Veneer Panel (E-Ven101) is a compact, skill building, step-by-step, project oriented class, designed to give you the basic knowledge to build a small 8″ x 10″ book-matched veneered panel, which can be used as a jewelry box lid, cabinet door or small table top. This class can be ordered with an optional kit, with all the material needed to make this panel.

Marquetry 101
(chapter 1 of 4) by Paul Schürch
Class ID: E-Marq101

On-line hand skills class "Making a Marquetry Medallion"

Online hand skills class: Making a Marquetry Medallion (E-Marq101) is a compact, skill building, step-by-step, project oriented class, designed to give you the basic knowledge to build a marquetry oval medallion. It can be used in a larger veneered panel, applied or inlaid into solid wood project. This class can be ordered with an optional kit, with all the material needed to create this medallion.