Introduction to Furniture Design Course

Introduction to Furniture Design: Welding + Metal Work

More than ever, metal and metalworking are an intrinsic part of contemporary furniture design. From sensual and refined modern lines to rough-hewn industrial framework, this flexible medium allows for creative solutions that address both aesthetic and purpose. This course introduces students to furniture design through the basic techniques of welding and metal fabrication. Students are exposed to oxyacetylene and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, with the primary focus on TIG. Considerations of structural performance, material selection, cutting, shaping and bending, joinery and finishing techniques are reviewed. Design issues are resolved through a series of drawings and models, and welding skills are honed through several preliminary projects. For the final project, students create a finished piece of metal furniture.

Students exhibit their work at Open Studios held 4–6 pm on the final day of class.

Course #0807
Jim Cole

Schedule A
June 22–July 28, 2020
Mondays + Tuesdays
9 am–4 pm

Tuition $2,975
Tuition for RISD Alumni and Students $2,380

3 Credits


Jim Cole

Jim Cole received an MFA in sculpture from Cornell University, a BFA in sculpture from the Minneapolis School of Art and an associate degree in engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He taught sculpture at Cornell University and has been a member of the Furniture Design department at RISD since 1997. Cole’s work bridges the gap between sculpture and furniture and is in the permanent collections of prestigious museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, the American Craft Museum and the Arkansas Art Center. His work is also in many public collections, such as The General Mills Corporation, Gellert and Cutler, PC and Northern Duchess Hospital.