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Volunteers at HatchSpace, in Brattleboro, continue their work on eight art tables for Putney Central School on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022.

BRATTLEBORO — When Wendy Windle started preparing for her first year as the art teacher at Putney Central, she planned a makeover for the studio/makerspace.

“The arts in Putney is an essential part of their curriculum,” said Windle, who has been with the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union for 15 years having previously taught at Academy School in Brattleboro. “And like many schools, you know, programs and rooms need to be re-invented and renovated. There was a great need at the Putney School art studio to sort of have a facelift.”

Windle said the room was “pretty much gutted” to bring it into the 21st century and meet the needs of an art studio/makerspace for pre-K-8 students. She began by painting the room, then she thought about upgrading the tables.

Tom Bodett, president of the board of directors for HatchSpace in Brattleboro, said his group was approached by Windle about building new tables.

“We looked into it and thought we could do this as a company project using volunteers at the HatchSpace facility,” he said.

Windle’s husband is a member of HatchSpace and supported the idea of bringing it to the workshop in downtown Brattleboro. HatchSpace, according to, “provides access to the tools, training and community necessary to develop creative confidence, independent craft and trade skills in woodworking.”

Once Windle reached out to Hatchspace, the idea “really took off fast,” she said. Volunteers from the Putney community helped bring it to fruition.

Windle described the project being a pilot program. HatchSpace wants to work with high school students interested in the woodworking practice, she said.

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Altogether, nine new tables were constructed. Windle counted about a dozen volunteers — mostly parents and a retired teacher from Academy School — who assisted with the project.

“They’re exceptional,” she said of the tables, which she expects to last decades. “HatchSpace, they believe when you make something, you make something well.”

HatchSpace teachers are master woodworkers and really take the time to explain processes to students, Windle said. And she’s happy with how the studio turned out.

“It’s all set up,” she said. “It’s amazing. It’s a very modern room now.”

Windle said the wooden tables fit at Putney Central, “a nature-based school.”

“They have a long history of forest curriculum,” she said. “I think having wood tables sort of mirrors nature in the classroom.”

With the tables being on wheels, they can be moved around. They also can be reconfigured to meet the needs of the lessons.

For the project, Windle is crowdfunding to pay for materials and use of equipment at HatchSpace. Information can be found at

“Big thanks to those people, the volunteers and the wonderful members of HatchSpace and Tom Bodett who gave so many hours and sacrificed so much of their time to make this happen,” Windle said, noting the project was completed in 25 days. “That was a huge lift for HatchSpace and the volunteers, and we made it happen. That’s the Vermont way and that’s amazing.”

Kris Radder contributed reporting.