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Re: Pennsic classes; Woodworking

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  • Ralph
    Symon Teaching wood-turning, well, since I ve done that.... One student per lathe, not three or four. Four hours per class. I would -never- try to teach a
    Message 1 of 42 , Aug 9, 2013
      Teaching wood-turning, well, since I've done that....
      One student per lathe, not three or four. Four hours per class.

      I would -never- try to teach a beginner to use a pole or treadle lathe. There is just too much going on. They would have to work their feet -and- hands at the same time. For a pole they would also have to learn to apply pressure when the wood is going forward, and release when the wood reverses.

      No beginner has ever really been able to use my treadle lathe, there is just too much too learn. Experienced turners, yes, since they already know how to work the tools.

      Since I have taught turning, and using s treadle lathe I can understand why a period apprentice took so long to learn, we are talking about a significant learning curve here.


      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Sean Powell <sean14powell@...> wrote:
      > But here is the problem. You aren't going to teach a PRACTICAL class
      > on wood-turning unless you have 3-4 spring-pole lathes. Maybe 3-4
      > people per lathe taking turns and you could have a 12 person class.
      > Now that class probably needs to take a few hours and even if there is
      > only one instructor there should be an experienced turner keeping an
      > eye out for safety at the other stations.
      > And here is the kicker: For me Pennsic SUCKS for getting 4 consecutive
      > hours of class time. I have a red belt and I swore and oath to my
      > knight and through him to the kingdom to serve in times of need. That
      > means every mass-point battle I'm fighting, marshaling or helping in
      > some way. I have a family and need to trade parenting duties with my
      > wife who also wants to attend classes (frequently during the battles).
      > I like to shoot archery. I need to put in my turn cooking and
      > scrubbing pots and stacking firewood and other camp chores. Pennsic is
      > a $%&R%ing busy time to try to take or teach the classes that I'm
      > interested in.
      > I saw a nice design for a reciprocating lathe. 2 vertical spring poles
      > with a spool between them. If you were closer I think I could build
      > (with modern tools) 4 simple reciprocating lathes, Sell 3 to students
      > to cover material costs and invite you to spend a day teaching period
      > turning... But I doubt I could do the same at Pennsic.
      > Food for thought.
      > Symon de Poitiers (Sean Powell)
    • Jerry Harder
      I am sure there are a few bad eggs out there. But remember peers are people too. Yes we have been recognized that we are models of what a scathen should
      Message 42 of 42 , Aug 13, 2013
        I am sure there are a few bad eggs out there.  But remember peers are people too.  Yes we have been "recognized" that we are models  of what a scathen should be.  We have sworn to uphold the ideas and traditions of the society.  But, We have our bad days.  Its hard to be chivalrous when someone tells malicious stories or spreads out and out lies about us, stabs us in the back, and sometimes when things just don't go right.  We get angry and frustrated with things that happen in life.  We are expected to "play" at a higher level, but what happens when your the autocrat for the event, and the feastacrat doesn't show up and your other two major helpers got into a fight, one just left, its an hour before feast and no food is on site and no one seems to know where it's at or even if its been bought.  Inters now a  5 year acquaintance introducing someone interested in woodworking to you THE woodworking laurel.   Your response, however gracious, may be interpreted as snooty, or unapproachable.  Forgive us a little.   There are a few of us who would make a loud "pop!" when our heads are extracted from out you know whats, but you still get to choose who you to talk to and associate with.  None of us are perfect.  We are all flawed.  But we all love the SCA and hopefully are trying to make it a better place.

        On 8/11/2013 11:15 PM, Rachel Stallings wrote:

        I have run into one of each personally and people I have known have have also run into it and if you go on Facebook there is a page  specifically for people who are trying to become artisans and they relate their personal stories. That is where I got the information.

        On Aug 11, 2013 10:17 PM, "Helen Schultz" <helen.schultz@...> wrote:

        I’ve got to chime in a bit here.  Your last comments about “stories” worries me a bit.  I think most of them are just that… stories.   I’m not a Laurel for woodworking, but a Laurel is a Laurel, no matter their chosen field.  A part of our pledge to the Crown is to keep teaching.  Also, when we are looking at someone in the Laurel Circle, how they conduct themselves and pass on their knowledge is key to whether or not we recommend elevation.   I don’t think I have ever in my 29 years in the SCA (and 19 years as a Laurel) encountered a snooty Laurel or Brass Hat.  I have, perhaps, just been really lucky, but I tend to doubt it.  I get people coming up to me after I have taught a class and tell me how much they enjoyed the class and that I was not intimidating at all.  This made me very happy, because I strive to be the same person I was before I was elevated, just more knowledgeable now <grin>.  I think Master Avery is also not a heck of a lot different than he was before his elevation, personality-wise… and I am a bit awed by his knowledge base with wood (as mine is so modern and fragmentary).


        But, I can say this type of Peer-fear is also prevalent in mundane life.  I spent 20 years in the Air Force, the first 5.5 years as an enlisted carpenter, and the remaining years as an officer behind a desk.  I remember being on fairly friendly terms with high ranking officers (like the Base and Wing Commanders) when I was a carpenter, and my own father being totally surprised I had the guts to talk to them as though they were normal people.   People just have to learn that Peers are people just like they are… we all put on pants the same way; one leg at a time <grin>.   


        I do like your thoughts about prominently posting levels in classes… this is something we tend to forget to do from time to time.  The same applies to some Kingdoms’ A&S criteria (my own Midrealm is a problem here, too), there should be judging based on experience levels, not just one for everyone.  Beginners are not going to approach a project the same as an intermediate or advanced artisan.


        Rachel, I don’t think you stepped on any toes, but I think you did inadvertently point out one of the saddest failings of human beings… we tend to believe nasty stories and rumors rather and  try to find the truth of the matter. <sigh>


        Katarina Helene von Schoenborn, OL




        From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Rachel Stallings


        Wanted to offer an opinion...


        Personally, I would feel less intimidated about asking a non-Laurel questions than I do a Laurel. 

        Also, there is a period correct (approx 14th century, I think) tourney fence that I think you could make into an hour class for a single section of fence (even for a beginner like me). Instead of having everyone haul home a single section of fence you could try to find a sponsor (group, or a horseback rider or simply an interested party)to buy the materials for....say 10 to 14 students and the sponsor keeps the fence, but everyone in the group goes home with a usable skill, and keeps all the space in their car for packing all the stuff they bought with them.  I would really like to see classes marked for Complete Novice, Novice, Beginner that knows how to sand, (and/or stain, or use a hand brace). that way I know that the class is in my skill level and I don't have to worry about feeling overwhelmed or wasting the instructor's time (by needing too much of his or her class time) I would like a class that it's okay for me to be a rank beginner who is really afraid to start off with out any kind of safety net. (I'm a worry-wort, in case you cant tell.) I think that as far as elevation goes a major criteria should be the individual's attitude and willingness to teach and be supportive. The stories about Laurel Snooty-pants or Brass Hat So and So having been hateful about a first effort is intimidating, and a bit worrisome to beginners like me. 


        Also a class on finding documentation, and ensuring it's authenticity would work for all A&S not just woodworking. 


        Okay, sorry for the verbal diarrhea, and hopefully I didn't step on any toes. 


        I hope you have a great day!

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