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Save the Date for IPTW 2014: "Kickin' it Old School"

IPTW 2014 - "Kickin' it Old School", St. Clairsville, OH  

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

This year's IPTW will return 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 will be “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 will be providing hands-on, interactive demonstrations to over 300 attendees in ten different tracks so there is always something going on. This fun-filled, two-day event will also include a number of extended, day-long demonstrations and the very first ever: Traditional Trades Obstacle Course. read more

Pre-conference workshops are planned for lead safe certification. If you would like to attend a refresher course on lead certification please let us know and we can see if we can work that in. Interested demonstrators should contact Dave Mertz as soon as possible to learn about track options and potential demonstration topics and fill out a demonstration proposal form.

Register now, and start saving up your goodies for the auction!

Please come and join us for two days of fun and excitement. We guarantee that even the most accomplished craftspeople will learn something new!

Click on the link below to register now!

Register Now!

Other News and Events

Newsflash: We have a new newsletter editor!

Many thanks to member Alison Hardy, owner of Window Woman of New England who has stepped forth to edit the print newsletter.  She will assume her responsibilities with the next newsletter as the current version is currently going to the printer.  Many Thanks!



Job Openings

Members: This is a great opportunity to reach out to your peers for help in filling job openings. Just contact the office with your positions.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is seeking an instructor for a project at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to rehabilitate four 1930’s structures in a vacant Boy Scouts Camp as a HOPE Crew project. NTHP is looking for a preservation carpenter in the New Jersey or Pennsylvania area, preferably near the Recreation Area that will be able to lead ten young people in a 12-week training experience to repair and paint doors, windows, and siding. The team will come with a leader who will manage the safety and work of each crew member. The project is scheduled to start June 2nd. This is a paid position. If interested please contact Monica Rhodes, Manager Volunteer Outreach at: 202-588-6055 or

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is sponsoring its 9th annual summer apprenticeship program to introduce students and recent graduates of post-secondary trade schools, technical colleges and other training programs and others with building trades experience, to the preservation and traditional building trades needed to preserve Pennsylvania's historic places.

PHMC and several partner organizations and companies will be offering paid apprentice positions for 12 weeks in the summer of 2014 at locations throughout Pennsylvania. The apprenticeships will include a free training program with an introductory one-day seminar in historic preservation and two days of hands-on training by master craftsmen in various preservation and traditional trade skills.

Interested students should review the list of positions and contact the representative for those they are interested in for more information or to schedule an interview.

A museum in the Washington DC area has contacted PTN looking for professionals can clean artifacts of all types. If you can provide this service or know of people or firms in that area who may be able to assist, please contact the PTN office at 866-853-9335 for further information. We are also awaiting more details on an Historic Preservation Maintenance Supervisor position in Arizona. Please contact the office for more details.


Upcoming Events

Trowel Trades Workshop - Theory & Practice, May 16-18, Charleston, SC POSTPONED due to insufficient registration. Check back for new dates.

Join us for a multi-faceted workshop which will include components of both theory and practice as they relate to the trowel trades. Topics covered will include bond patterns and their characteristics, the material, science and practice for the use of gypsum plaster to produce a length of run molding, and the basics of design theory relative to these trades, The workshop will be led by Patrick Webb along with Michael Lauer and Charles Shuler, all from the American College of the Building Arts. Stephen Hartley will be the speaker at the opening lecture on Friday evening. Proceeds from the workshop will go to the PTN regional events fund.

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training with Preservation Trades Network (PTN), Friends of NCPTT and the Association for the Preservation Historic Natchitoches (APHN) will be holding an Engineering for Historic Timber Framing Workshop September 3-5, 2014 in Natchitoches, LA

HistoriCorps is an organization that works with partners and volunteers to preserve public historic sites across the country. A few of their upcoming volunteer opportunities for 2014 are listed below. For more information about HistoriCorps and a complete list of events, and/or if you would like to engage in one of their projects, please visit the website for more information.

A unique timber frame structure, built onsite during Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 12-14, will benefit the Pasto Agricultural Museum, and will be offered during their annual silent auction. The large-shed-size building will be constructed using historic methods and traditional tools during the show by a team of craftsmen in a demonstration area near the museum at the top of Main Street on the Ag Progress Days site. The team, led by Rudy Christian, of Burbank, Ohio, will include representatives from the Timber Framers Guild, Friends of Ohio Barns and Preservations Trades Network. In addition to showing timber frame work, the craftsmen will demonstrate the tools and techniques for creating hand-hewn timber, split shake shingles, split rail fencing and hand riven pegs. To learn how you can participate in the construction of the timber frame contact Rudy Christian (phone: 330-624-7282).


Your continued membership is key to our success!

Your annual PTN membership dues form the basis of our day-to-day operations so please remember to renew!  If everyone can sign up 2 more members we will be well on our way to having paid staff once again.  Your support makes it all possible.

Annual BOD Face-to-Face meeting in St. Clairsville, Ohio

After being rescheduled due to weather in December, the board of directors held their face-to-face meeting at Belmont College in St. Clairsville, Ohio, March 28-29th. Dave Mertz and the staff of the Belmont college Building Preservation/Restoration program welcomed the board to the site of IPTW/ITES 2014 for an intensive weekend of event and PTN planning discussions. The board delved into board operations and committees (where we really need your participation), also membership benefits and the operating model for PTN. We are looking at ways to provide more benefits to members and ways to expand membership so that we can better covering our operating costs during the year.

Left to right PTN board members Zak Dunne, Andy Roeper, Sarah Jackson, Bob Zoni, Sam Newton and Dave Mertz


The PTN Communications Committee Needs You

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.” Stewart Brand

“A network is a possibility factory.” Kevin Kelly

Do you blog, tweet or pin? Do you know your Klout score? Whether you’re a tech wizard or a confirmed Luddite we’re looking for creative, enthusiastic people to serve on the PTN Communications Committee and help spread the message about PTN online and in print. PTN is currently engaged in discussions with a developer to rebuild our tired and antiquated website on a new content management system, and we’re seizing the opportunity to breathe new life into our social networking presence and print publications. Initial goals for the committee are to:

  • Develop and implement an effective social media strategy for PTN’s online presence (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other platforms).
  • Create and curate content and news of interest to PTN members and the traditional trades community.
  • Help develop PTN graphic identity for marketing and events.
  • Review and beta-test the new PTN website once development begins.

Committee members will take part in a scheduled monthly teleconference to develop ideas, set goals and make recommendations to the Board, as well as taking on various roles in developing and posting content and information. If you’re interested in an opportunity to help promote PTN and the traditional trades in creative and innovative ways contact Lisa Sasser.

Contact PTN for information on other committees and ways to get involved!

IPTW 2013 - Frederick, Maryland

Response to IPTW 2013 Frederick, Maryland, September 6-7, was fantastic. Everyone had a great time and can't wait for the next one. This wouldn't have been possible without the support of the Historic Preservation Training Center of the National Park Service - our host and prime supporter for this event. From the pre conference workshops on gravestone repair and dry stone work to the vendor and demonstrator reception to the jam packed schedule of demonstrations and activities there wasn't a moment to spare. Excellent weather, a first-ever casting of the Askins awards plaque on-site, the most well attended and engaged member meeting in memory and a great set of walking tours really complimented the event. Special thanks to Moss Rudley as the epitome of the local organizer making the event happen.

Next year IPTW 2014 will be at Belmont College in St. Clairsville, Ohio in mid-September.

Duffy Hoffman - 2013 Askins Achievement Award Recipient

One of the highlights of IPTW 2013, the annual International Preservation Trades Workshop in Friederick, Maryland was the presentation of the Askins Achivement Award to Duffy Hoffman of Hoffman Painting and Refinishing. The Askins Achievement Award is named in honor of James S. (Jim) Askins, founder of the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center and recognizes contributions over and above the noteworthy. The award criteria includes contributions to the preservation trades for: the continuance of traditional building skills, advocacy of training in preservation trades, practicing a building trade at master level of skill and knowledge, and extraordinary effort given to advancing the awareness of traditional building trade skills and knowledge. Read more about the Askins Achievement Award and past recipients.

Nomination Statement by David Gibney:

Duffy Hoffman has been a loyal and active member of PTN since its inception. PTN’s original goals clearly went straight to Duffy’s heart.While already owning a successful painting business, Duffy shifted to learning correct historic painting techniques and methods for restoring finishes on historic structures. His business and all of his teaching activities have centered on that ever since. He is a passionate advocate, sometimes maybe too passionate, but his energy is unbounded.

His goal in life is clearly to promote the historic trades by using his expertise in painting and other restoration skills to educate anyone who is interested in learning, and even those who aren’t!

He is constantly thinking about how he can involve and inspire people, especially young people, to learn about the importance of restoring historic structures correctly. He has been a constant voice, and a loud one, at PTN events for including the youth. He has spent many months trying to start internship and education programs, especially for underprivileged youth or youth who need an occupation. In Elkins, WV he was involved in the Riverside School Project Youth Empowered Solutions to use an empty building to start a job education program for the youth of the area with historic restoration techniques as part of the curriculum. It is still there and he and I will be teaching workshops there this summer.

Duffy has taught myriad workshops, many at no charge. He has produced a video illustrating correct painting restoration techniques. He makes himself available whenever he is needed to reach and teach homeowners, groups and especially young people how to treat historic structures and how important it is to save them. He has appeared on HGTV’s Restore America and in Old House Journal and Fine Homebuilding. Duffy is a mile a minute talker and can be very forceful in expressing his opinions, but no one can doubt his dedication to the historic trades and the educational goals of PTN. Even when he had a serious stroke, he came back, refusing to let his physical weakness stop his mental insistence on promoting PTN’s goals.

I can personally attest to the fact that Duffy is literally thinking (and talking!) about how he can help youth and PTN from the moment he wakes up every day. It is clearly his main goal in life. I have also been involved in PTN since its inception and I have watched all of the leading characters through the years. We are a group of skilled and opinionated artisans and PTN has gone through many changes and regroupings, but Duffy is one of the strong old guys who started and then stayed with PTN and he deserves to be awarded the Askins Award for his constant faith and attention to the goals of PTN.

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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