top of page

Feature School: Cohen Teacher Feature

By Gwen Carroll Dec. 14, 2023

A honeycomb shelf adorns the wall. In the same room stands a cabinet, a chair and a small desk, with pens laying across its surface. With a subtle sheen and professional finish, the wooden pieces of furniture all have one commonality: they were made by Jamie Cohen, Social Studies Department.

“My husband made a wood shop in our garage while I was on maternity leave. He quickly moved on to other hobbies, so rather than let the wood shop stay abandoned, I learned some woodworking. Now that I am off maternity leave, it is harder to find time to work in the wood shop, but I treasure my time there nonetheless,” Cohen said.

Cohen was inspired to start woodworking when she found an abandoned cabinet on the side of the road, free to take. Cohen immediately felt that it was a waste to throw out and brought it home, intent on refinishing it. Previously, she had only tinkered with her equipment—the cabinet became her first real project. After sanding down the wood and staining it, Cohen repainted the desk to make it appear good as new, an endeavor she described as very fulfilling and satisfying. The cabinet has since claimed a place in her house, alongside countless other pieces of furniture Cohen has either refinished or built from scratch.

Although Cohen’s main focus is furniture, she enjoys making an unexpected item: pens. Using a lathe—a tool that spins wood at high speeds to carve objects with perfect rotational symmetry—she carves and sands the barrel of the pen, then fits them to a tip, thrust device and ink chamber. Cohen also frequently uses dyed wood to bring some color into her pens.

Cohen’s pens often serve as gifts for friends and family, helping her connect more personally with those she cares about. However, Cohen mostly shares her woodworking hobby with her daughter. Although Cohen’s daughter is too young to work directly with machinery, she likes to help out where she can and enjoys keeping Cohen company.

“I cannot let my daughter work with the machinery since she is only six years old. Instead, she has her own set of equipment such as earmuffs and a mask. Sometimes, she draws what she wants to build on a piece of scrap wood and if it is doable, we build it together,” Cohen said.

Sharing hobbies is much more than just sharing results—time spent working together is time spent bonding. Just as Cohen learned the basics of DIY from her parents and expanded on these skills in her wood shop, she now teaches her daughter how to refinish abandoned furniture and even build her own.


About the Contributors

Gwen Carroll

page editor

Gwen Carroll is a junior and the Page Editor for Community News and Feature School. She enjoys playing rhythm games in her free time. Her favorite subject is English and is interested in psychology and law.

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Screen Shot 2024-02-24 at 7.54.40 PM.png
Screen Shot 2024-02-24 at 7.55.49 PM.png


Have any questions? Want to make any suggestions? Contact us at 

We'll reply as soon as we can!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram

Notice any mistakes?

Contact us here!

Recent Articles

Screen Shot 2024-02-24 at 7.55.11 PM.png
bottom of page