Get well, Drew Langsner

I’ve been finishing up some stuff in the shop, pegging the slats in this hickory ladderback chair this afternoon. It’s nearly impossible for me to work on projects like this one & not think of my friend Drew Langsner. I sound like a broken record over the years, but Drew and his wife Louise changed my life.

l.-r. Drew Langsner, Jögge Sundqvist, Louise Langsner, Peter Follansbee

Many others too I’m sure. 2020 has not been a good year for anyone, or if it has, they had best keep quiet about it. For Drew, it featured a long medical hassle that he’d just come through when two weeks ago as a coda he had emergency bypass surgery. I spoke to him the other day, and he was happy to be home after his time in the hospital. He had great praise for the staff at the Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C. – and was relating to me all the new challenges; (“if your butt goes down, your feet come up” is the new mantra). Finding a flat place to walk around their farm is the trick now…

If you’re not familiar with Drew’s work; it’s a long story, but from about 1977 onward for 40 years, he & Louise ran a hand-tool woodworking school  on their place in western North Carolina. Starting with just a few week-long classes in the summer, eventually they added workshops year-round. Chair-making, basketry, timber framing, spoon & bowl carving, Japanese woodworking tools, and on & on. If you carve spoons in slojd/sloyd style in America – it’s because of them, whether you know it or not. I’ve written about their place a number of times over the years –

He’s written several books, the first one I saw was Country Woodcraft back in 1978. Lost Art Press is working on the new edition of that book, slated to come out this year. I’ll be sure to post a notice when it’s available. Back at Greenwood Fest #2 in 2017, we were lucky enough to be able to host Drew & Louise as a way of honoring their enduring contribution to our craft. This is a group photo from our Greenwood Fest of folks who had been to Country Workshops at some point over the years…

It was a highlight for me to be able to include them that way in that event, after all they’ve done for me. They gave a talk there about the 40-year history of their school Country Workshops. It was great to view those old, and not-so-old, photos, but few have Drew in them…someone sent me this one of Drew from that visit in Plymouth in 2017. 

So, now Drew is hanging around the house recuperating from heart surgery. I know he reads this blog, so if you’d like to leave a comment for him here, I’ll be sure he sees them. Even better though – if you’d like to send a card or a note in the US mail – they’ll make their way out to the mailbox at some point…that address is
Drew Langsner
775 Black Pine Ridge Rd
Marshall, N.C. 28753


All right, let’s send some healing best wishes down to that mountain…

31 thoughts on “Get well, Drew Langsner

  1. Drew ,

    I have two of your books and have built several things from them. Thanks for being a leader in your field. Best wishes

  2. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Drew, from another Drew. You and Louise have made a difference in so many lives, including my own. Thank you for all you’ve done!

  3. I hope you feel better Drew. You’ve touched more lives than you’ll ever know. In the mean time, see if you can figure out how to use a shave horse with your feet elevated.

  4. Sir, you don’t know me and we have never met, but you have influenced the kind of woodworking I do through your books and those you directly influenced. Thank you and god speed in your recovery

  5. Hello Drew:
    I hope that you have a quick and uneventful recovery. I am looking forward to the re-release of your book!

  6. I’ve had open heart surgery for a valve replacement. It hurts for a couple of months. But you will really feel better. Praise God for you and your work. Will be praying for you.

  7. Drew & Louise,
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
    I had the good fortune to be in your last large ladderback class.
    So many pleasant memories, both of woodworking and the great meals.

    Paul Saffold

  8. Drew, hope your healing is quick and easy and you are back to teaching old skills and learning a few new ones soon. Amazing how many ripples are still spreading from that pebble you and Louise dropped in North Carolina all those years ago—not least this blog and Mr Follansbee’s many other machinations for spreading the greenwood gospel. Take care,

  9. Drew… Take a well deserved rest, my hero of hand building. Your place on the mountain is a great spot to recover and rest up. You’re not missing anything out here, that’s for sure. Whenever I’m in the shop here in Texas, so many times in a project I think WWDD (what would drew do?) Take care, Brian Hawkins

  10. Dearest Drew,
    I am thankful for all the inspiration and creativity you awakened in me and consider you a friend. I am praying for your speedy recovery and return to the adventures that lie ahead. Burke Aubry

  11. Drew, I hope your recovery goes smooth and that you’re feeling better soon. I will keep you and Louise in my thoughts and prayers during this time of healing. Peace. Rick Ford

  12. Drew, wishing you a speedy recovery. Thanks for all you’ve done! Enjoy your book regularly, hope to steam bend my firewood carrier soon.
    -Jacob Chancery

  13. All the best wishes for you, Drew! I am forever thankful for your Scandinavian visits at the end of the 90 ´s. The two chairmaking courses you led was the best I have ever attended. I learned so much from you – not at least the humour! Take care, Lars Wegge, Norway

  14. Hi Drew, I hope you are relaxing now you are back at home – it might be a good time for you to reminisce over all your pioneering work and the hundreds of people like myself, who you have inspired. Best wishes,

  15. Hi Drew – hope you are back on your feet soon. Your ‘Chairmaker’s Workshop’ was an inspiration for me and I have made Ami’s chair a number of times. It was my Grandson’s favorite chair until he outgrew it. Thanks for all you’ve done for Green Woodworking.
    Larry Barrett

  16. Get well soon Drew! We all appreciate you and all that you do and have done for green woodworking! Sending you lots of good energy and strength!!!

  17. Hey Drew,
    Best Wishes for getting back in the shop soon! My visit to your spoon/bowl carving class will be remembered forever by me. Your farm is a special place and Louise and your hospitality was second to none!

  18. Hey Drew,
    Just saw Peter’s post….You should be well on you path to recovery by now but additional good ju-ju is never a bad thing, so here’s some more coming your way.

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