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IPTW 2015 - "All the Trades Under One Roof"
The Preservation Trades Network presents the 19th annual International Preservation Trades Workshop - July 22-24 at the Shelburne Farms Coach Barn in Burlington, Vermont

The 19th annual International Preservation Trades Workshop will take place July 22-24, 2015, at Shelburne Farms, one of the finest examples of a Victorian Era model farm and country estate, and a National Historic Landmark. Created for Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb from 1886 to 1915, Shelburne Farms occupies 1,400 acres of designed and agricultural landscape, with significant buildings representing a combination of Shingle and Queen Anne styles. Four major historic buildings and 78 secondary buildings, structures, and sites are situated in broad expanses of fields, with rolling hills, forests, gardens, and rocky lakeshore. Eleven and a half miles of curvilinear interior roads, and eight miles of walking trails traverse the varied farm and estate landscape, and provide magnificent vistas of Lake Champlain, the Adirondack Mountains to the west and the Green Mountains to the east. Shelburne Farms is an educational nonprofit, practicing environmentally, economically and culturally sustainable rural land use and agriculture, as well as offering educational programs and activities.

IPTW 2015 will be held in the 1902 Coach Barn, the last of the four major buildings at the site designed by architect Robert Robertson. Used for large group gatherings, exhibits, conferences, and special events, the Coach Barn offers the perfect venue for gathering “All the Trades Under One Roof”. The International Preservation Trades Workshop is the only annual event in North America which brings the foremost practitioners of the traditional trades together in a single event, dedicated to sharing the skills and knowledge of all of the trades employed in conservation of the built environment. Since 1997, masons, timber framers, carpenters, painters, roofers, plasterers, metal workers and practitioners of other traditional trades from more than a dozen countries have come together to share their knowledge and demonstrate their skills. Every IPTW draws a diverse audience of tradespeople, architects, preservationists, students and home owners, and offers unique learning opportunities for people of all ages, skills levels and interests.

Known for its arts and culture, vitality, history, and walkable downtown, nearby Burlington, Vermont has received numerous accolades including being designated by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance as #2 among “America’s 10 Great Places to Live” in 2013, and being chosen as the very best small city in the country, for its “State of Well Being”, in a 2010 Gallup-Healthways poll.” Make plans to join us for IPTW 2015 to engage, learn, connect, and explore all this remarkable location has to offer. <read more>

Call for Demonstration Proposals for IPTW 2015

Being a demonstrator or presenter at an International Preservation Trades Workshop is a great way to share your skills and knowledge and increase your visibility as a leader in the preservation trades. Demonstrators should have a strong background in the traditional building trades, as well as the ability to convey their techniques and skills in a way that highlights the diversity, vitality and relevance of the traditional trades and contributes to their understanding and practice. The IPTW is an interdisciplinary event designed to attract participants of many backgrounds, ages and skill levels including tradespeople, allied disciplines, students and interested members of the public.

The 19th Annual International Preservation Trades Workshop will be held at the Coach Barn at the Shelburne Farm in Burlington, VT on July 22-24th, 2015 with a set-up day on July 21st. This outstanding venue will feature covered areas for most demonstrations and is located on the shore of Lake Champlain. In addition to the outstanding skills from around the country we will be showcasing New England artisans and helping them connect to the wider network of preservation professionals.

Setup will be on Tuesday July 21st and demonstrations will be held on Wednesday, July 22nd through Friday the 24th. This year we will have a total of 10 sessions with approximately 7 tracks covering masonry, plaster windows and doors, joinery, carpentry and timber framing, roofing, metal work, decorative finishes and business. You will need to demonstrate at least twice and will have the option to specify your preference if desired though we cannot guarantee a particular slot until the demonstrator schedule is finalized. All demonstrations must break down and be clear of the venue prior to the Friday evening dinner and auction. Full details will be provided in the course of your acceptance.

If you're interested in sharing your skills and knowledge with the PTN community please fill out a demonstration proposal form. Submissions are due by Friday, March 27th. Each demonstrator submission will be reviewed and selected by the Demonstration Committee by April 17th. If you have questions or need additional information please check our Demonstrator Guidelines or contact the PTN Office at: or 866-853-9335.

International Trades Education Symposium (ITES 2015), Savannah, Georgia - May 14-16, 2015

The Savannah Technical College Center for Traditional Craft in partnership with the Preservation Trades Network and the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTBAU) USA, will host the 5th International trades Education Symposium (ITES) May 14-16 2015 at Savannah Technical College in Savannah, Georgia USA. The theme of the conference is:

Building Foundations – Building A New Culture For Building Craft Education and Industry

With the recent economic downturn, an increased focus on the trades and trade education has been espoused by government and societal leaders. How have educational providers responded to these calls for a greater trained workforce in traditional crafts? What can educators, institutions, government agencies and non-profits learn from their counterparts’ experiences? What are the platforms and pathways that can be and are being created today that will lead craft education in the future?

The goal of this conference is to create an environment for collaborative exchanges between educational providers, institutions/organizations, government and industry and to permit educational providers to build greater partnerships with their peers. Presentations and panel discussions will cover the following themes:

Defining Pathways for Trades Education in the 21st Century

  • Government
  • Industry, business and higher education
  • Craft practitioners, teacher and the public
  • Potential for development of skills exchange, and partnership efforts
  • Collaboration on community, regional, national and international levels
  • Building a new culture for building craft education and industry
  • Finding and Remembering the Reasons for Building Craft

This conference is designed to build on the collaborative learning set forth during previous ITES events including Lincoln UK (2011), Leadville Colorado (2009), Tallberg, Sweden (2007) and St. Clairsville Ohio (2005).

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Engineering for Historic Timber Framing Workshop: Building Techniques and Issues Arising in Preservation
February 9 - February 12, 2015
Natchitoches, LA

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training partnered with the Preservation Trades Network, the Association for the Preservation Historic Natchitoches, and the Friends of NCPTT to hold a workshop investigating the engineering issues facing historic timber structures. This workshop brought in preservation engineers, timber framers, site managers, historic building owners, and other parties to discuss best practices for planning and implementing these multi-faceted projects. The focus of these workshops was the African House, a 200 year low fired brick and timber framed building, located at Melrose Plantation near Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Classroom sessions were held at Lee H. Nelson Hall with site visits to Melrose Plantation and Magnolia Plantation. Africa House, so named because local lore attributes it’s unusual umbrella-like roof to African building traditions, is a 200 year old structure built using both heavy timber and low-fired brick. Among the issues facing African House is a lack of understanding of the structural capabilities of traditional heavy timber joinery. During the engineering workshop, instructors experienced with historic timber framed structures will discuss this building technique and issues that arise during preservation, focusing on the example of African House. Participants engaged in sessions and site investigations to assess best practices for determining structural treatment approaches

Lisa Sasser has worked in preservation since 1972, beginning as a Museum Technician at the Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, Texas. In 1977, she received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Texas Tech University, completing as a thesis project, a Historic Structures Report and restoration plan for a post-1680 houserow at Tesuque Pueblo, New Mexico. From 1979-1984 she was employed as a Historical Architect on the Northeast Team of the Denver Service Center, the centralized planning and design office of the National Park Service. She currently provides consulting, teaching and technical services for documentation, conservation, repair and maintenance of historic structures. Lisa is a founding member and past President of the Preservation Trades Network, and past President of the Timber Framers Guild.

Rudy R. Christian is a founding member and past president of the Timber Framers Guild, founding member and past president of Friends of Ohio Barns, founding member and past Executive Director of the Preservation Trades Network and is a founding member of the Traditional Timberframe Research and Advisory Group and the International Trades Education Initiative. His experience includes participation in the Quingue Forum, numerous speaking engagements and instructing educational workshops as well as publication of various articles about historic conservation.

Patrick Sparks, president of Sparks Engineering, Inc. in Round Rock, Texas, is a consultant specializing in the investigation, analysis, and rehabilitation of existing structures. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Georgia Tech. He is a long-time member and former director of the Association for Preservation Technology and is a professional fellow of the Center for Heritage Conservation at Texas A&M. He is also an expert member of ISCARSAH, an international committee for structural conservation.

Do you know where you are today?

Quite often folks ask, "What is the benefit of PTN?" Well, a benefit of membership in any community network is going to be in direct proportion to how involved you are in your community. Like this, if there is a PTN member near you then chances are pretty good that you are both interested in fixing up old buildings with tools and stuff like that. Reach out and contact them and see if they would like to share with you in a coffee/green tea/meditation/roach-coach break and talk about old buildings, the world, shop-talk, the weather, or how to do stuff like sharpen knives, cut stone, break bread, build bonfires, solder or glaze a window. So, the first benefit of PTN membership is the people that you get to meet. And in case you may wonder where all of these people are at, here is a map:

View Preservation Trades Network in a larger map


PTN Mission: “To empower the traditional building trades through network, good works, community, fellowship and education.”

The essential element of the Preservation Trades Network is the network. Why should we network? Because it empowers us in our lives, it reinforces and builds upon our individual talents and our personal values. It manifests through our ability and willingness to connect and share openly with others that takes us beyond our individual selves. Though membership is an important element of a healthy community, a network goes the next step and the next steps onward beyond the immediate community. To network is to continually reach out to other people and to new territory beyond ourselves.

Good Works
We intend through the practice of our combined trades to leave something of value behind us in the built environment, but more importantly we intend to honor values of traditional trade practice in our lives, in our teaching of others, and through our good works. Though we intend to do good work in our individual professions, the effect of good works is that as a community we provide something of value to enhance and celebrate the human condition within the cultural heritage of the built environment.

We do not build and rebuild alone. We build with friends regardless if they be from any walk of life, any country, trade or profession. We share and bond in our experience of working together and with our coming together to build and rebuild we build community. We share of ourselves within community and live fully through our sense of service to our community.

We strive to know each other within our particular trade interest, but more importantly to know and to recognize each other across the interests of many variations of traditional trade practice, personal interests and diversity of professions.

We want to teach others and we ourselves want to learn from each other and from others.

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