This Valentine’s Day weekend, instead of doing the usual flowers and dinner routine, why not really connect with your significant other — as well as a tiny Vermont community and the natural world — by building something together?
The Naked Table Project, the brainchild of famed artisan furniture-maker Charles Shackleton, and his wife, potter Miranda Thomas, is a way for couples and individuals alike to come together at the couple’s workshop in Bridgewater, Vt., for the weekend to build a Charles Shackleton designed table.
Where to stay
For the weekend, you have the choice between three (all beautiful and quaint) inns in the picturesque village of Woodstock, Vt., but we recommend The Woodstock Inn (www.woodstockinn.com). Not only does it feature knock-out rooms and delicious restaurants, but its well-equipped Nordic center is a perfect launching point for some fun, cross-country skiing.
“It’s a way to connect people to each other, the environment, and to make something lasting and iconic with your hands — to actually create an object that means something,” says Shackleton. Guests not only make a table, but take a hike through the Vermont woods with a forester to see where the tree was harvested (as well as learn about sustainable forestry and the people involved in growing, harvesting and milling your wood), enjoy a dinner of locally grown food prepared at the famous Simon Pearce restaurant with your fellow craftsmen and stay in one of Woodstock’s chic country inns. To top it off, Thomas will teach you how to make a bowl to adorn your new table.
“They don’t come to make furniture,”?says Shackleton of his past and future guests. “They come because they want to connect with their daughter, their son or their spouse.”