Mike is multi-talented with a wide, varied area of expertise. He is an upholsterer as well as working in wood finish restoration and touch up techniques. For this visit, Mike will share a very interesting story about his unexpected connection to Henry Studley’s famous tool chest, thanks to working on a book with his friend Don Williams, retired Senior Furniture Conservator at the Smithsonian. He even has the good fortune to look very much like the old guy!

Mike Mascelli toolbox photo

Mike’s Friday evening lecture is titled The Story of the Man Who Made the Most Famous Tool Box in the World – Henry O. Studley. The story of the tool chest of Henry O. Studley has become a true legend in the world of woodworking since it was featured on the back cover of Fine Woodworking magazine a generation ago. Thanks to the efforts of Don Williams, retired Senior Furniture Conservator at the Smithsonian, the tool chest which is now privately owned, was re-discovered in 2014, and with it came the permission to do a book and a formal exhibit. The book, Virtuoso, The Tool Chest of Henry O. Studley, was published by Lost Art Press to coincide with the exhibit of the tool chest and its bench in Cedar Rapids in 2015.

Mike Mascelli worked with Don on this project and in the course of the research the one and only photograph of Henry revealed a striking resemblance! And for the three hectic days of the exhibit Mike got to portray Henry, and relate the few details of his personal life that were known at the time. Since then, Mike has undertaken much additional research to attempt to fill in the gaps of Henry’s biography and answer some of the many questions that surround the creation of this American treasure, such as:

  • When did he build it?
  • Where did he build it?
  • How long did it take?
  • What kind of man was he?

In full period costume, Mike will present an entertaining slide talk with numerous props that will trace Henry’s life from birth, through his 82 years, with all of the available historical facts, as well as some scholarly suppositions, as he follows Henry from the rural 1830’s through the Civil War, World War I, and into the Jazz Age.

This talk is free and open to the public. You can find more information about our meetings here.

Mike’s Saturday demonstration workshop will focus on wood finishing, restoration and touch up techniques. The workshop will include sections on: The Five Finish Families, Hand Applied Finishes, and Restoration Process Tips and Techniques.

Lunch can be purchased at the door in the morning of the workshop (subs or pizza) for $10 or you can bring your own lunch.

The cost of this workshop is $55 (First year RWS membership free with registration for a national speaker workshop). The workshop location will be at CP Rochester, 3399 Winton Rd, Rochester, NY 14623, from 9AM to 4PM.

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Non-members are welcome to attend monthly meetings free of charge. Non-members receive a free membership when they register for their first workshop.

Our Friday meetings and lectures begin at 7:45 in Basil Hall on the St. John Fisher College campus. More information about the location of our meetings and directions are available here.

More general information about the nature and format of our meetings and lectures is available here.