Saturday, June 22, 2013

My apprentice...

As some of my readers may know I've had an apprentice for the last 6 months through the Folklife program at Arkansas State University. In retrospect our apprenticeship went by in a flash. It was like when you're in the shop late at night so deeply engrossed in what you are doing that time stands still and becomes irrelevant.

While our apprenticeship arrangement has come to a formal conclusion, Greg and I have decided to continue, and that it carry on for more learning and fun. We've become even better friends through the apprenticeship and enjoy our relationship.

Greg began by making small benches based on a model shown in Fine Woodworking using hand tools. Then I asked him to begin making dovetailed joints. My reasoning was that if you can get over what many woodworkers assume to be the hardest of the work, you can do anything. Greg has actually built a large body of work which you can see on his facebook page, Sticks and Stones.

I am proud of Greg's accomplishments. With some added time in practice at the bench, and with a few new tools to bolster his growing shop, he will go far. If you are on facebook, visit Greg's page and offer your encouragement. It is truly a marvelous thing to offer a bit of what you know how to do and then to see what you have offered carried on in another person's hands.

I thank Mike Luster, the Arkansas State University and the National Endowment for the Arts for launching Greg's apprenticeship. It has been rewarding for both of us.

Make, fix and create...

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