FEBRUARY 22, 2012

Beth writing


I came home from Guatemala, unpacked my suitcase- laundered everything – repacked and headed up to the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship to teach for a month. I have been waking up every morning with a dream about Guatemala in my head. Through e-mail Jenn said she is waking the same way. Our lives have been altered. We stepped out of our safe comfortable American lives and saw how it is in the rest of the world. Someone told me that only 1 percent of the population on earth lives a middle class life style. I wonder if that is true. When you compare your life to people who live in huts –have no health, dental or eye care –eat limited foods and rarely leave the acreage they work everyday, it makes you think of your own life in a new way. Jernn and I were both moved emotionally by the spirit and generosity of the people. We would like to go back and work on more projects. We are trying to figure a way to make a lathe powered by bicycle and containing inexpensive parts, I know would be a successful project in Vera Cruz.


It is weird to have just spent two weeks teaching people with cast off hand tools how to do simple woodworking and then to come to this school and see the sophisticated pieces done with custom made hand tools that might cost several hundred dollars each. I am assisting Aled Lewis in his 9 Month wood class. We are teaching production pieces, also called multiples. We have a group of talented students.


I realize the human drive is the same in the jungles of Guatemala and Maine, how can you make something to sell to make your quality of life better.  In Guatemala the difference being no one had any furniture and very few possessions so all the work went into peoples homes first and future pieces will go to the market.

Here is some work from the students in Maine:

table base




Tool cabinets

Cabinet laying on table

Mock up of table

About turningaroundamerica

Collaborative Team of Jenn Moller and Beth Ireland
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