From Beth at IUP
I have a great class here at IUP. They are all motivated and focused. I am teaching beginning woodturning. The syllabus is pretty rigorous and everyone has been able to keep up. It is really exciting for me to see someone sharpen their own tool correctly for the first time, or duplicate their first form. My students are designing and making stools. Teaching is very much like making a sculpture. I start with an idea, distill it to its essence; decide materials, size, shape, deadline, etc. Sometimes the piece is complete and I realize I gave to much information and it has no mystery. Sometimes it becomes so simple that it lacks interest. The teaching of the stool project has been like that. I have always believed that there is create creativity within limitation, but when students are motivated to really take a simple stool to a complex place, I cannot help but say O.K. I believe doing something beyond your abilities that is the greatest space for learning. It can also be frustrating for students. My job as teacher is to try and read abilities, and find the place that helps with personal development in an inspiring way. It is very diagnostic like making art. This group has gone far beyond my expectations, which put me in an interesting place helping them to make decisions about materials, size, shape deadlines etc.… It is really exciting and an honor to get to be the witness, observing all the progress around me.