Woodworker — Harvard Gazette

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In the basement of Mather House is a small room called the Woodturning Studio, run by Alan Haack, a master artist and woodturner. Haack has spent his 18-year career honing his woodturning bowl technique. He also builds and restores lathes, and teaches woodturning to the Harvard community. Haack says Mather’s woodturning program is the only one of its kind in the Ivy League.

The program began eight years ago when a resident instructor at Mather took Haak’s class outside Harvard and loved it so much that he encouraged Haak to try teaching it at the university. Over the past few years, the woodturning studio has moved from a small space near the dean’s office to a better location with new equipment in Mather’s basement. Students from all Harvard Houses and faculty are welcome to take Haak’s woodturning classes.

“The wood-turning program is unique in several ways. Wood-turning is a highly specialized job that requires heavy equipment and expertise. Not only does the studio have the resources for several students, but Mother House was very fortunate to find an incredible teacher in Alan, who is passionate about teaching and loves his work and his students,” said Amy Dapoly, a former Harvard undergraduate who is now an adjunct instructor and clinical fellow in radiology.

“Another great thing about Mother Wood Lathe is the way it connects students, instructors, and others. I’ve met some inquisitive and talented undergraduates, alumni, and members of the Harvard community. Sharing a common experience has united us in a common purpose and allowed us to learn from people of diverse backgrounds.”

Scott Eisen


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