Bella grew up on a hillside farm in Vermont where running barefoot in pastures and sledding under the full moon were typical. Despite loving her bucolic home, she moved to New York City as soon as the opportunity arose. There, among other things, she worked for the City Department of Parks & Recreation, ghost-wrote a column about traffic for the New York Daily News, and received a Masters
in Urban Planning from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. Bella found her way to Maine and the Apprenticeshop because of a deep craving to learn to work with her hands and build things. She took a leap into the unknown on the advice of her uncle, a Maine builder and sculptor, who assured her that “if you learn to build a boat, you can build anything.” Bella enrolled in the two-year program at
the Apprenticeshop where she soon became captivated by the process of coordinating her physical effort with complex visualized intentions to manifest beautiful and functional objects. Two years proved not enough, and so after graduating, she worked for three rewarding years as a carpenter for Rockport Marine and then pursued additional training at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport. She taught back at the Apprenticeshop for one year before starting Studio IZP in 2012 to design and build furniture for retail and commission. She has also taught classes in boatbuilding, woodworking,
design, and art at Islesford Boatworks, the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Steel House, and the Rockland After School Alliance. Bella was honored to be asked to join the Board of the Apprenticeshop in the summer of 2017, and even more so to be entrusted, in 2018, with leadership of the organization that taught her how risk and perseverance can transform. Bella lives in the South End of Rockland with her husband Martin, who was also an apprentice with her back in 2005.
Kevin grew up in a large Foreign Service family, living in Europe and South America before returning to the United States, where he studied design at Virginia Tech. While in college, he spent summer weekends racing log canoes on the Chesapeake Bay and remembers reading about a boatbuilding school in Maine called The Apprenticeshop in an early issue of WoodenBoat Magazine. After graduating, he sold his rebuilt Austin Healey 3000 to raise the funds to travel to Maine to do an internship at the Shop, back when it was in Bath. Taken by the experiential teaching style, the craftsmanship, and the sense of community at the Shop, Kevin remained in Bath for the next year and a half as an apprentice. Upon leaving the Shop he returned to the Chesapeake to oyster on a sailing skipjack, and returned to Maine to spend the next ten years working as a professional boat builder in the Boothbay area. In 1989 he returned to the Shop as an instructor. Since then he has seen more than 200 boats launched and countless apprentices, intensives, and volunteers come through the Shop. Kevin and his wife Trish live on a small farm in rural Jefferson, Maine.
Nate caught the sailing bug in the winter of 2011-12 while working as a photographer in the British Virgin Islands. The experience was profound and he enjoyed crewing aboard the 80-foot maxi, which was home base for the photo contract, more than he enjoyed shooting the pictures. Not being connected in the yachting world, Nate returned to his hometown near Baltimore where he started volunteering at the nearest schooner he could find. It was not long before a bunk was offered for the 2012 sailing season. One boat led to the next and down the rabbit-hole he went, ultimately meeting his wife, who brought him to Maine in 2016 and opened his eyes to the way life could be. Nate is passionate about getting sailing in the hands of those like him who were not born into it, and in promoting sailing as a shared part of our history and tradition in Maine. He never tires of taking new sailors on the water or learning more and more about how sailing fits into the history of many coastal families.
Waterfront and Seamanship Director
Born and raised in the Sierra Mountains in Northern California, Emma decided to graduate high school as a junior in order to pursue a life at sea. Her career started with a position as an assistant cook. She worked “up the hawse pipe” first as a deckhand, then engineer, and then mate, until taking command in 2010. Emma has since been the Master of many different vessels operating in areas from Hawaii to Nova Scotia.
As an artist, musician, and self-proclaimed naturalist, Emma loves all things that grow. Passions include saving and sharing seeds, tending the earth, playing in the woods, hunting mushrooms, cooking, wildcrafting medicine, and building regenerative community through nature connection.
Emma holds a USCG 500 Ton Ocean Masters License and is a Nationally Registered EMT.
Director of Student Affairs and Outreach
Originally from New York, Nina received her B.A. in biology from the University of Chicago. After working for several years as the lab manager in a plant genetics lab at the University of Chicago and then teaching middle school science in New York City, she ended up moving to Maine to become an apprentice, drawn by her love of the ocean and her desire to work with her hands. After four years at The Apprenticeshop, she still hasn’t left.
Daniel Creisher was born in southeastern Massachusetts but moved to Maine in his teens. After high school, he started working for the University of Maine teaching outdoor educational programs in the western part of the state. He spent the next eight years teaching young people, playing in the mountains, and working in construction to support his teaching and skiing habits. After getting an associates degree in architecture from a small community college in southern Maine, he realized he wanted to learn how to build boats. Having taught in experiential education programs, he liked the Apprenticeshop's approach to learning the craft. In 2012, he came to Rockland to join the Shop. Since then, he has been working in classic yacht restoration until his recent return to the Shop as a boatbuilding instructor. He now lives in Union and is starting to build a small house for himself there.