We established Heartwood in 1978 to teach the skills and knowledge it takes to build an energy-efficient house. Since that time, we have expanded our programs to include all aspects of the homebuilding crafts, particularly timber framing.
Click here to watch a short video on the Heartwood experience produced by the Becket Athenaeum Media project.
We have also learned that the people who come to Heartwood, varied as they are, together share a clear determination to empower their hands, to train their eyes for quality and beauty in the design of things, and to question and explore the ways we might live in a more honest relation with our planet.
For us, this determination comes as a welcome sign and an inspiration that a human-scale society can grow amidst the excesses of the old. The determination to become an active creator of your environment as designer or builder claims back your right to make a difference, to be able to build places that express your care for the life that will happen within them.
It is the same spirit referred to by the poet Gary Snyder when he advised:
Find your place on the planet and dig in.
We're here to help give you the tools to do just that.
"I've never had so much fun going to school before. The informal atmosphere, small class size, and teacher responsiveness were delightful surprises. The field trips and on-site training were great. I would not be able to experience so much in so little time on my own." Joan, teacher, Vermont
"The strengths of Heartwood for me included: the sharing of staff members' building experiences (and mistakes); hands-on workshops; an excellent library; well organized slide programs and lectures; patient teachers at the site; food prepared with love; free time in the evening to meet other classmates; and the pleasant location in the Berkshires." Philip, artist, Minnesota