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Artist Talk with Roy Underhill

July 28, 2020 @ 6:30 pm


Artist Talk with Roy Underhill | Tues, July 28, 2020 | Live on ZOOM at 6:30 pm EDT


Join us for a talk with woodworking celebrity Roy Underhill! The talk will take place in his very own Woodwright School where Roy will share stories from his life and work, including his experience hosting the hit PBS series The Woodwright’s Shop. Don’t miss this opportunity to spend an evening with a woodworking icon!

Roy Underhill is an American woodworker and television show host. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., he was the first master housewright at the Colonial Williamsburg reconstruction. Since 1979, he has been the host of the PBS series The Woodwright’s Shop. Along with This Old House, which debuted the same year, it is the longest running PBS “how-to” show.

Underhill was introduced to traditional woodworking by a sister who worked at the Smithsonian Institution. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned a degree in Theater. In the early 1970s, Roy and his wife moved to Colorado to form Homestead Arts, an acting studio, and then on to a remote area of New Mexico where traditional woodworking was one of the few means of survival.

In the late 1970s, Roy moved back to North Carolina and studied at Duke University, pursuing a multi-disciplinary course of study including engineering, forestry, and history; he was subsequently awarded a Master of Forestry in 1977. At the birth of his first daughter, he approached the UNC Center for Public Television with an idea about a traditional woodworking show. Initially rejected, the idea was finally accepted; in 1979, filming began on The Woodwright’s Shop at West Point on the Eno in Durham, NC. Around the same time, he also took the job as master housewright and later director of interpretive development for Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

More recently, Roy also works as a communications consultant. He is the author of several books, including The Woodwright’s Eclectic Workshop and Woodwright’s Shop: A Practical Guide to Traditional Woodcraft. In 2011 he gave a presentation at TEDx Raleigh, sharing the value of ingenuity and living in the present.

Roy has started teaching traditional woodworking in a classroom environment he calls “The Woodwright’s School”. As of January 2014, his classroom is located in Pittsboro, NC.

Many hand-tool aficionados hold Roy Underhill in extremely high regard and may refer to him as “St. Roy.”

Image caption: Roy Underhill with VanGogh Chair. Photo by Mike Oniffery

This event is free to the public. The Center for Art in Wood interprets, nurtures, and champions creative engagement and expansion of art, craft, and design in wood to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of it. A suggested donation of $5 per person enables us to provide programs and exhibitions throughout the year.


For questions contact Katie Sorenson, Community Engagement Manager at [email protected]


July 28, 2020
6:30 pm
Event Category:


The Center for Art in Wood
(215) 923-8000
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The Center for Art in Wood
141 N 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106 United States
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(215) 923-8000
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