I am back in Boston after spending a month in Florida teaching my sister how to make a dulcimer guitar.
Two years ago I talked her into taking a two- week furniture class at The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship while I taught a turning class. She picked me up at the Windgate Residency I was in at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and we drove to Maine together. I was starting to make instruments and brought two with me. I had a beginning guitar book and she devoured it. Before the two weeks were over she had purchased a guitar. In the last two years she has become really good. The passion I feel for making the instruments, she feels for playing them. It was exciting to be at her house helping her set up shop and teaching her what I have discovered over the last 2 years. Working with her reminded me once again of what I love about teaching craft: focus, patience, and tenacity, mixed with materials, lead to an object. In this case an object that could be experienced a whole different way for her when she was done. I liked watching her play each one, and hearing her opinions about the sound and look. When we sold the first one and packed it for shipping it was really exciting for her. There is something amazing about making an object that will travel to some unknown place in the world and have a life you will know nothing about. I have always loved making things for a living, and like to teach people that their own hands can support them emotionally and fiscally.