At the beginning of every class I teach, I try to remember to make a little speech. It goes something like this:
You are welcome to take photos or videos of everything you learn here. And you can post these wherever you like. You can write in detail about the techniques you learn here and share them with others – I don’t even care if you credit me.
In fact, nothing would please me more than if you went home and ran this same class with some friends. You are welcome to use the plans and class materials I provided. This belongs to you now. In fact, this belongs to everyone.
Surprisingly, some people take me up on it. And today I received an email from one of my students, Klaus Skrudland of Norway (follow him on Instagram here). I’ll let Klaus tell the story.
I hope you and your family are doing well. I reckon you’re well into Lutefish preparations for Christmas! I’m home from work today with my youngest son who has a fever and a running nose, as well as a stitched cut in is forehead, which he got from being pushed down the stairs by his older sister. In other words, all is normal.
Anyway, yesterday was the last day of my Staked High Stool class. We’ve spent the last four Mondays, from 6 to 9 PM. I taught five people who had never before made a chair or a stool or anything besides flat work, and they all completed each their beautiful staked stool.
When I came back from Munich I managed to decipher my own scribblings and arranged them into a four page handwritten pamphlet with some sketches and measurements. I could’ve just handed them your text from the ADB expansion, but I wanted to add a personal touch to it. I was a bit nervous, but I figured it was good for me to teach the course as soon as possible to be sure that I remembered it all.
It all went pretty smooth. Each night, for good luck and spirit, we put up a vintage photo of Samantha Fox the wall over the benches. I’m sure that helped a lot. We ran into some issues here and there (a split leg, some wedges that broke even before entering the kerf, as well as some weird and unexpected leg angles), but we solved them together and the stools all came together just fine.
Perhaps the most rewarding outcome of this was that none of my friends had ever considered making a stool like this, and they LOVED it. It was really a bit moving for me to see how they engaged in this and how satisfied they were when they had a finished stool that they could actually sit on! I remember the feeling my self from your class earlier this year. It was kinda magic. It’s also very cool to see how newly acquired skills quickly manifest in people’s hands and eyes when they get to assist each other and explain the concepts to each other during the workshops. Myself included.
It’s Tuesday morning here. And thanks to Klaus and his email, I feel I can take off work for the rest of the week (I won’t – too many dovetails to chop). This stuff brings me more joy than a plate of grits and barbecue. So thanks to everyone who supports our work by buying furniture, books and taking classes. And an even greater thanks to those who pass the information on.
— Christopher Schwarz