Friday, June 13, 2008

Five Solid Days

Here is the photo of the students with their finished stools after 5 days at the Peters Valley Craft Center. It was a lot of fun and work, not to mention the 95 degree heat.

When setting out to teach a multilevel class, I am always challenged to meet the needs of all of the students. In this instance, I wanted to make a piece that focussed on the basics of shaving and carving. As I told the class, chairmaking is a lot like a decathalon. The wide array of tools and skills employed can seem daunting. My goal was to guide the students through while trying to draw a common thread from one task to the next.

As usual, I learned a great deal from my students. The different ways of learning and the variety of working rhythms seemed to even out as the students helped each other. Some of my favorite moments were watching students explain a part of the process to another, which is something that I don't see in my one on one instruction. As much as performing the task at hand, this is a reflection of their comprehension.

I'll be sharing some more photos of the class as well as a technique that I developed for drilling every hole in the undercarraige with one angle (even though they are all different!).

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