Marc Adams Higher Education

The Masters Program

The MASW Masters program is the most recognizable and credible woodworking certificate program in America.  To date, there have been nearly 400 people complete the program—which is incredible!

MASW is not a project school, but rather a technique school.  With our diversity of workshops, it’s possible to put together a curriculum with mainstream topics taught by the best craftsman of modern time. Workshops are balanced throughout the year to help fit your busy lifestyle.  Simply choose dates, instructors and specific topics that best suit your needs. Time is not a factor; you can work at your own pace and at any time—this is “personalized education” at its best!

The Masters program is currently based on nine classes that allow students an opportunity to interact with, imitate, and question some of the great woodworking minds and talents of our time. PLEASE NOTE THAT CLASSES FROM OTHER SCHOOLS ARE NOT TRANSFERABLE.

New Changes to the Masters Program

The Masters program, like any good curriculum, is growing—and changing.  After a lot of conversations with past Masters and world class instructors, MASW has decided to add “Handskills” as a requirement to the Masters certificate.  2018 will be the last year that an Elective workshop can be used in place of the Handskills workshop and vice versa.  In 2019 Handskills will officially be added to the Masters curriculum as an independent class requirement.  The Elective requirement will still be required.

In order to preserve the MASW Masters certificate as the premier certificate in the field of woodworking it is important that students learn the fundamentals of good hand skills.   Stephen Proctor once said “you can build anything and everything by hand, but you can’t build everything with power tools.”  He’s right.

Recommended Order for the Masters

I’m often asked for a logical path for the order of workshops for completing the MASW Masters program.  Although classes can be taken in any order, it’s recommend that the Apprenticeship class be the final workshop.

It is suggested that students start with either the Joinery or Handskills class as your first two classes.  Design or Finishing should be the third and fourth choices.  The remaining workshops can be any of the technique workshops such as Turning, Carving, Veneering/Marquetry or Chair Making and the final workshop should be the Apprenticeship class.  This order will be the best way to build a sound foundation of woodworking where one class will build skills for the next class.

Curriculum Requirements (Full Week Classes Only)

1. Joinery

2. Finishing

3. Veneering or Marquetry

4. Design

5. Carving

6. Chairmaking

7. Turning

8. Elective *Handskills

9. The Two-Week Apprenticeship

2017 Masters Awards

The following are the 2017 Masters Award recipients.  These 20 people represent 10 different states.

Susan Kapustka, IL

Daniel Smith, IN

Steven Ricks, WI

Phil Miclea, MI

Dennis Rike, IN

Steve Robison, OH

George Rodgers, IL

Martin Goodwin, FL

Richard Tysen, IN

Jesse Ligon, TN

Nathan Murphy, IN

Scott Barron, OH

Gabriel Roper, IN

Jim Cousin, IL

Jim Kraemer, WI

Noel Rytter, AZ

Scott Severns, NJ

Michael Stafford, IN

Billy Durbin, IN

These 19 “Masters” have taken a combined total of over 270 classes at the MASW. I have watched all of them grow and mature as confident woodworkers. We have become good friends, and my life is enriched by having known them. I look forward to their return in the future, maybe someday as teachers. – MA

Michael Fortune Fellowship

The Michael Fortune Fellowship program is open to anyone who has already completed their Masters. There will be no time limit for completion, and past selected in-depth classes can be applied if they meet the Fellowship requirements and were not used for the Masters program. Classes have no order of sequence other than the Artist-in-Residency program, which must be taken last.

For complete guidelines on the requirements of the Michael Fortune Fellowship and detailed information on the Assistantship, Artist-in-Residency and the evaluation process, contact

Fellowship Requirements (Full Week Classes Only)

1. Style or Period Furniture

2. Details or Inlay

3. Working with or Applying Other Materials

4. Two-Week Advanced Furniture Making

5. Fine Cabinetmaking

6. Joinery II

7. Advanced Studies in One Area of Concentration 

    A. Veneering   B. Carving    C. Turning  D. Finishing

8. Assistantship

9. Artist-in-Residency (Two of Five at MASW)

10. Technical Review

Alan Lacer Woodturning Fellowship

Although there are a lot of great turning programs in America today, not one offers a sound curriculum that challenges students to achieve beyond simply learning techniques or design. Working closely with Alan Lacer as the program’s director, MASW has created a unique opportunity for woodturners. This is a chance to challenge yourself and certainly broaden your woodturning skills in exploring a wide array of different forms of woodturning. This program will require students to take specific turning classes that will not only develop technique and design skills but will also establish guidelines for individuals to use in judging their own skills. The MASW Alan Lacer Woodturning Fellowship will encourage research and exploration of the diversities of turning.  For complete guidelines on the requirements of the Alan Lacer Fellowship and detailed information on the assistantship, article criteria and work submission, contact

Curriculum Requirements (Full Week Classes Only)

1. Spindle Turning

2. Design (Any Week-Long Design Class)

3. Turned Lidded Boxes

4. Bowls

5. Hollow Turning/Vessels

6. Carved Turned Surfaces or Laminated Construction

7. Finishing (Any Week-Long Finishing Class

8. Elective (Any Turning Class)

9. Assistantship