School’s out for many kids, and we were delighted to host one young woodworking enthusiast this week. He was just 7 years old, but clearly loved woodworking -- and clearly understood the value of hands-on instruction.
I'm also thinking of last minute Father's day gifts because the window for actual tool delivery is pretty small. So consider the gift of classes. Learning how to make something with the tools you have is easily as useful and having the tool in the first place.
I’ve certainly bemoaned the loss of shop class many times before on this blog, so I don’t think I’ll need to flog that horse again. Ditto the loss of woodworking classes at local YMCAs (and I learned woodworking at the YWCA that housed the Crafts Students League before the building met its inevitable end - NYC’s “highest and best use - as condos). With many traditional options gone, prospective woodworking students need to take advantage of whatever opportunities to learn woodworking that are available.
To this end, let me suggest a few:
For those in the NYC area, we’re offering Modern Furniture Construction classes with Sebastian Lata. This Saturday, June 17th, is Making a Zig Zag Chair, and another round of Making Kitchen Cabinetry will be offered on Saturday, July 8th. We were very gratified by our students’ satisfaction with the class. As one student wrote, “I just finished the class in Cabinetry and found it highly informative and a day well spent. It is rare to find a practitioner of this caliber sharing real-world knowledge and experience. Highly recommended!”
I’m also resuming free classes. By popular demand (complaint?) I’ll be offering Sharpening 101 on Saturday, July 15th. We have other classes in mind, ranging from hand skills to finishing, and we’re open to requests.
In Brooklyn Makeville Studio has a large calendar of a range of woodworking classes.
But of course not everyone lives close to a physical school.
Consider modern technology’s advantages (while you’re bemoaning changes) and take advantage of Chris Pye’s subscription-only Woodcarving TV. The subscription offers instructional videos for all levels of woodcarvers (including advanced woodcarvers), and the opportunity to ask Chris for personalized advice about your carving. I'm a big fan. Chris he has set up gift certificates on his site too. Prices are all in pounds sterling, but your credit card will do the conversion automatically so it's not a big deal. (Right now 1 pound is equal to about 1.3 US dollars.)
I am rapidly coming up to the ten year anniversary of this blog - wow! - and I expect to be back to more tools, techniques, and interesting wooden stuff in the next weeks.
Happy Father’s Day!