Wednesday, February 9, 2011

studio happenings

a few days ago I was assisting the beginning woodworking class at San Diego State University. While helping a student conquer her very first wooden bowl sculpture, I was shocked by her timidness to the material. I had gone over grain direction in length at this point till I was blue in the face, sketching diagrams , doing demos on scrap wood, showing her other examples from other students. I was beginning to loose my patience then she looked back at me with seemingly lost eyes, I gave it one more chance. I instructed her to "feel" the material, let the wood depict where the gouge should go. She nodded intently but with still a sort of hesitation, I realized at this point I needed to walk away and give her a bit to be with her bowl.

Upon returning to the student she had made quite a bit of progress in a short 15 minutes. I asked her what she did differently to render better results. She let out a quick laugh and told me that she had ,"just felt it." "Honestly, I thought you were some sort of wood hippy when you told me to feel the wood. Like a yogi telling their student to feel the universe or some shit like that. I thought you were full of it. Then I began to carve and within a short time I noticed what wasn't working and what did. So I continued feeling my way around the material, keeping in mind what worked until I noticed I was making progress with ease." I was sort of offended at first when she told me she thought I was full of shit then I realized there was only one way to get a point across to her and that was to let her figure it out, and she did. So not only was I a douche anymore but I helped her figure it out on a "universal level." We both got our way.

Using my own advise I decided to steer away from my initial ideas for shelter and go with my gut, I am beginning work with some found ladders and will see where it goes from there...-V


  1. Great job finding a way to connect to your student! Some people just need a different way of seeing or feeling into working than others. I love the term wood hippy!

    Good luck!
    Jaime Lyerly

  2. Vince- the idea of a career being shelter is creative and thought provoking. Our lifestyle can be altered dramatically by the amount of success that we have in these jobs. It affects everything from our home/shelter, mood, and who we communicate with. The netting is great example of this. I think that this connection would also fit in with the found ladders. Climbing the corporate ladder is a goal for many in American society. The Ladder also helps create and maintain shelters…