Card table

Steve Latta Workshop


In September this year we had master craftsman and teacher Steve Latta here for a workshop

This event was co-sponsored with HFIA. Steve was one of the jurors at the HFIA wood show in Honolulu.
Steve Latta has been an educator/cabinetmaker for over twenty years focusing primarily on furniture of the Federal style. He is completing his Master’s Degree in American Studies at Pennsylvania State University while teaching furniture making full-time at Thaddeus Stevens College in Lancaster, PA.  He has lectured on the topic of inlay at various institutions including Colonial Williamsburg, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Winterthur Museum and Gardens.  Additionally, he works part-time in the conservation department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  He is a past member of the Executive Board of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers and currently serves as the Society’s Conference Coordinator.  He is an active member of the Furniture Society providing inlay demonstrations and leading panel discussions at various annual conferences.  His work has been featured in CWB,  Fine Woodworking, Woodwork, American Period Furniture and The Catalogue of Antiques and Fine Art magazines. Additionally, he has twice been a guest of Roy Underhill on PBS’ The Woodwright Shop demonstrating traditional inlay techniques.  Besides teaching, Latta does private commissions and lives with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children, Fletcher, Sarah and Grace in rural Pennsylvania.
Card table
Click here for a collection of about 80 images taken during the inlay workshop. The pictures are taken by me, Robert Lippoth and Ricardo Vasquez

In many ways, veneer-work, marquetry, inlay and related techniques reached an early zenith during the Federal Period of American furniture.  Furniture makers adorned their work with bright veneers, geometric forms, classical motifs and pictorial elements. Although many of these practices were lost over time, surviving examples of this early work influenced many of the designs of contemporary furniture pieces. This demonstration/workshop will provide a brief overview of inlay and related methods of traditional surface ornamentation.  The making of stringing, ornamental bandings, bellflowers, sand-shading, paterae as well as regional motifs will be presented. Tool making, as it pertains to inlay, will be covered in depth and participants of the hands-on segment, will fabricate their own tooling and tackle a line-and-berry panel, a style of inlay whose roots can be traced to ancient Wales.  This demonstration/workshop will focus on the blending of traditional and modern techniques to develop an approach to executing this age old technique in the small, individual studio. 


Below are some examples of Steve's work

Bow front cabinet
Front cornice
Spice box