Woodworking is born from an egg...
The introduction of woodworking in fifth grade represents a significant transition for students. The dreamy days of early childhood fade as the turbulent middle school years appear on the horizon and students begin to develop a more sophisticated understanding of themselves and their world. Woodworking helps students navigate these turbulent times by providing a natural and unforgiving resistance to their emotional extremes. With growing maturity comes increased accountability. For the first time students are given dangerous tools and required to use them correctly. Safety rules are enforced and personal responsibility is expected.
Using a shaving horse and pullknife (drawknife)...
We begin with a study of convex surfaces by carving an egg (which is much more difficult than it seems). Eggs are highly proportional, with no flat surfaces, dents, or scratches. Each cut affects the overall shape. Students must hold a three dimensional image in their mind over a period of many weeks. Carving too deeply may require reworking the entire egg. The eggs are finished to a soft glow with natural oils and traditional polishing techniques. If time allows, each student makes a display stand of their own design. These stands offer a wide range of creative options and students constantly surprise us with the elegance and beauty of their creations.
Students also learn to respect essential rules for shop and personal safety, and for the proper care of tools and equipment.
Tools used include carving knives, clamps, vices, rasps, rittlers, crosscut saws, sandpaper and plenty of elbow grease.
New Project: Making a Woodworking Mallet--on a Pole Lathe!