Our instructors

Steven Bennett

Steven Bennett is a teacher and custom woodworker. He received his BA at Pratt Institute where he made his first piece of furniture, including a reading chair carved out of a tree from Prospect Park. His focus is on hardwood custom furniture, paying special attention to traditional joinery, ergonomics, and using quality sustainable materials and methods for unique pieces that will last for generations. He is also an expert in woodbending, including steam and lamination techniques. He has been designing and making custom furniture since 2005, and began teaching at Makeville in 2015.


Steven Ceraso

Steven Ceraso is an accomplished fine artist and woodworker. Steven has previously taught and worked as a technical assistant at 3rd Ward Brooklyn, Long Island University, The New York Studio School, and Parsons School of Design. His work has been exhibited at Fountain Art Fair, Williamsburg Art Walks, The Parrish Museum, Angels Gate Cultural Art Center, The Carnegie Museum, and Adelphi University. Steven's sculptural work combines repurposed materials with hand crafted forms. He is currently working on a relief carving commission for Iona College.


Alan Dorsey

Alan Dorsey has been woodworking professionally since 2002 with a focus on residential cabinetry and custom furniture. He began woodturning in 2008 and produces furniture parts, architectural components, positives for casting (metals, ceramic, concrete, etc.), prototypes for product design, as well as his own sculptural artistic works. Showing a preference for distressed or difficult woods in his own work he strives to exaggerate natural textures by framing them in simplified classical elements and forms.


Kelly Harris

Kelly Harris is a Woodworker/Furniture Maker/Designer/Teacher. Kelly builds custom pieces out of her shop in Brooklyn, NY and teaches woodworking at Makeville Studio in Brooklyn, NY and at the North Bennet St. School in Boston MA. Her focus is on working wood by both machine and hand with a focus to the details of fine woodworking. Every piece she builds is touched by hand tools and built with care, consideration and respect for where the material came from and is going to. She graduated from the North Bennet St. School, Cabinet and Furniture making program in 2017, and also studied at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Maine. She was awarded the 2017 Future Craftsmen Scholarship from Oneida. Kelly is also a musician and life long learner of whatever curiosities arise.

www.kellyhappis.com / @kellyhappis

Kate Hawes

Kate Hawes is a graduate of the Cabinet and Furniture Making program of the North Bennet Street School in Boston. She began working in wood twenty years ago, when she studied with Maurice Fraser at the Crafts Student’s League in Manhattan. She subsequently worked for John Fischer Furniture making high end custom furniture, first as an apprentice and then as a bench person.  In 2000, she co-founded a cooperative wood shop in Bushwick, Brooklyn which was the home for dozens of independent artists and furniture makers over the years.  In 2009 she was awarded an artists’ residency at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado.  Currently, Kate lives and works in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  Her recent work evolves out of her background in traditional furniture making, while also reflecting her interest in building intuitively and exploring new forms.  She enjoys teaching students to cut joinery by hand, never underestimating the power of a sharp chisel edge and cutting to the line.


Rex Kalehoff

With a BFA in Sculpture from UARTS, and an MFA in Wood Furniture Design from RIT, Rex has had an extensive international career teaching, managing studios, working with renowned artists and designers and several artist-is-residence, and exhibiting his personal work.  He has worked alongside traditional artisans in rural SE Asia carving teak roots, and studied first-hand the endemic biology of Australia’s pristine rainforests.

Bringing his world-view to the classroom, Rex is a passionate teacher of woodworking and offers a strong comprehensive foundation in the awareness and integrity of safety, technique, and careful craftsmanship. His lessons cover hand tooling and machine processes that aim to build confidence and freedom in the woodshop, as well as to develop ones own aesthetic and design sensibilities. He believes woodworking can change your life. 

www.rexkalehoff.com  /  @rexkalehoff

Michelle Lipson

Before beginning her furniture career, Michelle Lipson worked with a non-profit organization building straw bale houses. The work was a collaborative process and often details were discussed and added as the work progressed. She sees her role as a furniture maker as a logical progression from these roots. She builds unique high quality furniture and cabinetry focussing on each client's specific needs. Her custom work is highly personalized and her product line borrows details and design elements from it, in her unique signature style.

In 1999, after 3 years of apprenticing with local Philadelphia furniture makers, she decided to continue working on her own. Most of her work is inspired by different forms of vernacular architecture and influenced by her love of Danish modern and art deco designs. She has exhibited in the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft show, Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings show and shown work in the Wexler Gallery, also in Philadelphia.


Robyn Mierzwa

Robyn founded Makeville Studio in 2008 as a way to develop and share her passion for making. Having studied architectural engineering and worked for almost 20 years as an architectural lighting designer, she has also been a life-long self-taught woodworker. In addition to designing and building custom furniture and lighting, Robyn loves teaching--for the enjoyment of getting to share what she has learned over the years and for the privelege of being a part of others' creative journeys.


A. Pate

A. Pate is a custom furniture maker,  woodworker, and teacher based in Brooklyn, NY. Pate’s work spans both sculptural and functional forms in wood. They collaborate regularly with designers and artists to realize objects from electronic instrument components to woodturned hammock mounts. As an instructor, they have a passion for making woodworking accessible and empowering for communities that are underrepresented in the industry. In addition to private workshops out of their Brooklyn studio, Pate has taught at A Workshop of Our Own (WOO) and Tools for Working Wood, and has had the privilege of assistant teaching at Arrowmont School of Art and Craft with Bill Wallace, a master wood turner.