I have been thinking a lot about people this week. They are around us all the time, strangers pass on the street, and you may never meet them. You meet people but you have vast political or ethical conflicts with them so your relations never go further. In the end we are all human with a desire to connect to others. I have just spent the last 10 weeks in a room with 8 people from totally different backgrounds. It has become a family of sorts. At the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship there are many people I love to spend time with, it is one of the reason I have come back season after season for 9 years. The people who work here and the students are always great. When Peter Korn asked me to teach a 12-week intensive I thought it would be fun. It would be my chance to pass on the knowledge I have accumulated for the last 30 years, in my imaginings my class would consist of woodworkers and carpenter trying to add one more aspect of technique to their personal work. It has turned out so different then I thought. We are 8 people in a room together, sometimes 50 hours a week. Everyone has opened up and shared with each other, friendships have been made, alliances formed. Each person is supportive of everyone else in the room. Everyone is discovering many things daily. Some students come to learn something for the winter, some to develop professional skills and others to explore a creative process. It is different for everyone in the room and yet the atmosphere is supportive, friendly and down right funny sometimes. Some of us have dinner together on Tuesday and this has allowed us to get know a students wife who has become part of the class experience. We are a room of incredibly diverse backgrounds, republicans, democrats, young, old, rich, poor, analytical and free- thinking, and everyone gets along.
We are all starting to feel the end drawing near and there is a real sadness. I am single and live alone at my house. I cannot imagine what it will be like to come home to Boston and not have all these wonderful people around me all day, luckily I have many friends who will fill the gaps. When I walk into the studio every morning one of my students says, “Good morning Proffessa” in a thick Maine accent. I look forward to starting my day that way. In two weeks I will get up and have my coffee, wander down to my shop and start working, the shop will seem empty, but my life is so much richer for this time spent with these wonderful people. This class has really had the feeling of something bigger than 12 weeks. In two weeks they will go home to their communities knowing more than they imagined about themselves and woodturning. They will plan the next step, whatever that will be. I will see their work in publications, stop in and visit them while on my travels. We will all have this chunk of time that draws us together.