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215 S Thomas Street, Athens, GA 30602

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The Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and the Lamar Dodd School of Art invite the public to an open studio and public conversation with the leaders of the Handshouse Studio: Notre-Dame ProjectRSVP to Winnie Smith at

The Notre-Dame Project is an initiative that began in 2021, when Handshouse Studio led a team of experts and students in Washington, DC to begin reconstructing one of the trusses that once supported the great cathedral's roof, which was destroyed by fire in 2019.

Handshouse Studio is a non-profit, innovative, educational organization that creates adventurous hands-on projects through community service, building projects with partners around the world as a way to illuminate history, understand science, and perpetuate the arts.

Handshouse brought its La Forêt Model Workshop to the Dodd in September and October, 2022. Students participated in the crafting of a 1:10 scale white oak model of the intricate wooden roof framework of the Notre-Dame Choir, destroyed in the 2019 fire. That workshop and a corresponding public presentation were also presented in partnership with the Willson Center.

The project's leaders now return to the UGA campus for a new five-day workshop devoted to the ongoing project, capped by a public open studio event and panel conversation.

The schedule of events is below.


La Forêt Model Workshop
Monday-Friday, February 5-9

A five-day workshop to continue the 1:10 scale white-oak model recreating one of the oldest sections of Notre-Dame de Paris timber roof.

Exhibition and Presentation

How a gesture of global solidarity among makers became an embodied act of reconstruction across borders through the Handshouse Studio: Notre-Dame Project

Friday, February 9

RSVP to Winnie Smith at


Thomas Street Art Complex, 215 S. Thomas Street
3 p.m.: Open studio
4:30 p.m.: Studio welcome by Handshouse Studio
Following the welcome at 4:30, attendees will walk to the Delta Innovation Hub across the street for the panel discussion.

Delta Innovation Hub, 210 Spring Street
5 p.m.: Panel discussion with key Handshouse Studio: Notre-Dame Project leaders

Handshouse Studio will share how the organization's work led to the development of the Notre-Dame Project, and how the meaning and importance of the collaborative “act of repair” led to Handshouse sending project representatives to France to work side-by-side with traditional French carpenters reconstructing Notre-Dame de Paris’s iconic 315-foot wooden spire.
Panelists will include:

  • Rick and Laura Brown, co-founders of Handshouse Studio, professors emeritus of sculpture at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • Lindsay Cook, assistant teaching professor of architectural history in the department of art history at Penn State University; Handshouse Studio: Notre-Dame Project historian
  • Alexis Boutrolle, U.S. Director of Operations for Asselin, a family-owned carpentry company in Thouars, France, one of many reconstructing the roof and spire of Notre-Dame de Paris; Handshouse-Studio: Notre-Dame Project liaison to France
  • Jackson DuBois, professional timber framer, executive director of the Timber Framers Guild, and owner/operator of DuBois Timber Frames (Cooperstown, NY); Handshouse Studio: Notre-Dame Project representative in the official reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris’ timber spire in France.
  • Michael Burrey, faculty of preservation carpentry at the historic North Bennet Street School in Boston, traditional carpenter, and owner/operator of MLB Restorations (Plymouth, MA); Handshouse Studio: Notre-Dame Project representative in the official reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris’ timber spire in France.
  • Marie Brown, executive director of Handshouse Studio, La Forêt Model Workshop leader

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