Chair caning is a skill that takes years to become proficient and decades to master. Our volunteer, apprentice, and intern programs provide an excellent opportunity to enhance your basic chair caning knowledge and get comfortable tackling the most complicated construction elements.

The variety of chairs that clients bring to Silver River within a three to six month period provide a comprehensive curriculum for those wanting to broaden their craft school education, supplement their income, or satisfy their chair nerd tendencies. Supervised instruction on these chairs will expand your skill set and give you confidence to go out on your own with your new chair caning business or hobby.

Please email a resume/bio/brief paragraph telling us why you want to learn chair caning to to get started.

Volunteer/Work-Study:  Help with shop maintenance, events, prepping chairs for restoration, and the like.  Each hour worked independently = 1 hour instruction time (thanks for helping us get a day off!).  Each hour of assisted work = 1/2 hour instruction time.

Internships:  3 month internships 8-10 hours/week.  Assist in teaching all styles of caning, learn the ins and outs of a busy shop in the River Arts District, help with shop maintenance, assist with intake and preparation of restorations, assist with social media and networking events. Learn the fascinating history of chair caning and educate the masses.

Perks include:  Experience with 5 styles of chair caning, free tshirt, 10% off retail, experience in a thriving art studio/museum/craft school, curriculum designed with student goals in mind, recognition of work completed, experience in the River Arts District/opportunity to interact with people from all over the world.

*internships work best if you can be in the shop a full day or two half-days vs two hours every day. You’re really just getting started on a project after a couple of hours.

Apprenticeship:  (20 hours/week) Spend 1 year falling down the rabbit hole. Learn 5 styles of chair caning ($1350 value). Syllabus includes advanced caning methods and structured coursework on the business of chair caning. 20% off retail. Assist interns and volunteers, help with special events. Attend craft fairs, demos, and conferences.

Flat Rate Studio Rental: After demonstrating proficiency in a variety of caning techniques, you can rent shop space and tools for your chair caning projects.  This is an independent study.  We will be on site for questions and hints. $50/day