Teacher notes from a Curved door cabinet making class

AZ class 2015 Cab14

Few know what goes into the months of planning for a class of this nature, and as it begins to take shape, I ask: Can it be actually be done? Will there be enough time? How hard should I push? The material and cut list fluctuate depending upon how many students are there, which impacts what I need to ship, what special tools or supplies will I need at the school. What are the contingency plans in case one of the student projects goes poorly, oh, finish the blueprints, make them readable and run off full size copies…and then on to logistics?

Student introduction and class prep list are done and sent off, the actual curved cabinet project I did as a prototype is finished, photographed and pics emailed to the schools website, and I follow up a blog on my website. Airline tickets are purchased, teaching crates with return labels are sent ahead, various student requests for tools are thrown in at the last minute, Proofread EVERYTHING. And… all of this? All for a class at the South West School of Fine Woodwork? What am I thinking? Is this really worth all the hassle?

I arrive into PHX from SBA to see Rauls smiling face, ready to whisk me away to the school, to prepare for the upcoming week. The school is located in an industrial area of Phoenix, close to the airport, dusty razor wire over a chain link fence, with a tin shed roof for a cover. It is a ghostly Luthiers hangout, an seemingly unlikely place for a woodworking school. Behind the woodpile, and scattered guitar making gear, an occasional Luthier can be spotted carrying something on some mission or another. I enter the SWCFC classroom and immediately noticing the nice work benches, the second new Sawstop, better lighting than last time, a better machine layout, a kick ass swamp cooler that keeps us from suffering too much, and well kept hand tools adorn the new inner wall since the last time I was here. I suspect these all belong to Raul, the consummate craftsman. My crates are here and happily intact (believe me, I have seen Fed Ex and UPS do some nasty things to my boxes ! ) All the preparations are done and material sized and ready to be used. New vacuum bags in the next room, shiny hand planes near a dusty pile of veneer. A little more cleaning, and the benches will be ready to be occupied in the morning.

The class went well, although most did not complete their project of building a curved door cabinet with veneer. As you can see, many incorporated marquetry into their designs, which extended the time needed to complete it in the six days we had, but everyone got close enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, with enough momentum for the cabinet to be completed back at their own workshop. All in all, it was successful, and everyone had a great time. I enjoy these classes, to see the lights come on when people ‘get it’ and having the opportunity to share some of the knowledge I have gathered over a lifetime as a woodworker. Great class!

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“Veneer, Marquetry and Furniture Design” This Weekend in San Diego

I’ll be at the San Diego School School for Creative and Performing Arts to address the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association this weekend, September 16-17-18,  2011. Part of the event is free and open to the public, so I’d like to invite you to join me on Friday evening from 7-9pm when I’ll lecture about “Intuitive Design”. The San Diego School for Creative &

Performing Arts is at 2425 Dusk Drive, San Diego, CA  92139.

Here are some inspirational notes on recognizing and honoring your Intuition:

• Honor and Respect your flashes and don’t label any as silly or coincidental.

      • Brevity and simplicity—Express your ideas from the intuitive mind briefly in a line or two.  Considerable talking or drawing belongs to the logical mind.

      • Symbol, picture, and imagery—the intuitive mind will turn on the images inside your head, or a sensation in the body. Can you the taste how the picture sounds?

      • Suspend assumptions—Use intuitive input as naively as possible without entertaining any preconceived notions. No Judgments.

      • When you are grounded and in the flow, first impressions are usually correct.

      • Faint stirrings—Respect the weakly articulated impressions as strongly as you do the loud raps of intuition.

      • Active-passive—Intuition can come passively, like a “flash out of the blue” or actively when you ask a question and patently wait for a reply.

      • Enhanced receptivity—Letting go of tension or stress helps you relax and receive the pictures, images and symbols sent by the intuitive mind. Practice: Music & Silence, Movement & Relaxation, Meditation & Complete Chaos.

      • Associate—Freely associating to the imagery sent by the intuitive mind will help you unravel the underlying meaning of the symbols.

• Playful moments—Enjoy the intuitive process.  Fun and levity weaken analysis and strengthen the intuitive flow. Combine whacky ideas, see what emerges.

Please join me from 7-9pm on Friday evening in San Diego!