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Call for Papers (Extended) - International Trades Education Symposium (ITES 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. Abstracts and panel discussion proposals are currently being accepted for 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).

Abstracts will be accepted through January 15th 2015. For any questions, please contact Stephen Hartley at Accepted presenters will be notified by January 30th 2015.

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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 is partnering 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 will bring 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 will be African House, which a 200 year low fired brick and timber framed building, located at Melrose Plantation near Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Classroom sessions will be 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 will learn what is acceptable for these structures and what they need to look for when evaluating these buildings on their own.

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.

For more information contact Sarah Marie Jackson at or 318-356-7444.

Cost of the Workshop
$399 Registration
$199 Student Registration (limited student seats are available. Student must provide photocopy of current student ID and a letter of interest. Student applications should be emailed to before February 1, 2015).

The 18th annual International Preservation Trades Workshop
St. Clairsville, Ohio - September 12-13, 2014

IPTW 2014 returned to Belmont College, home of the Building Preservation/Restoration (BPR) program, of the oldest and most recognized programs of its kind in the nation, and host of IPTW 2005. Over 30 preservation trades specialists were “Kicking it Old School,” in fields ranging from masonry to historic metalwork, from stained glass to traditional wood framed window restoration, from plaster casting to decorative finishes. These demonstrators provided hands-on, interactive demonstrations in a number different tracks covering plastering, masonry, metal arts, window repair and more. This fun-filled, two-day event also included extended, day-long demonstrations and the very first ever Traditional Trades Obstacle Course.

A highlight of IPTW 2014 was the presentation of the 2014 Askins Achievement Award to David R. Mertz, Professor and Chair of the Building Preservation/Restoration Program at Belmont College. The nomination, submitted by Simeon Warren, Dean Emeritus of the American College of the Building Arts states, "I nominate David R. Mertz for the Askins Achievement Award not only in recognition of his great achievement in sustaining an exceptional academic program for over 25 years in the United States, but also in my humble opinion perhaps, he is the most influential figure in trade education this side of the Atlantic. Every academic professor who has built a program in these United States has referenced this man and his work. Which means that every student who has been through an academic trade education program has been influenced by this man."

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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