Sunday, October 3, 2010

Classes Next Week

It's that time again. Time to clean the school. Not as simple as it sounds, but absolutely necessary for the business to continue. The American School of French Marquetry occupies the entire second floor of the business, Antique Refinishers. During most of the year, the entire building is used for work, including marquetry restorations and creations.

That means that the "school" facilities are used by Patrice and I to do all sorts of projects, and that means it becomes a mess over time. We use the light table to create designs, the chalk board to discuss theory, the tools to cut and assemble, the glue pot to make assembly boards, the trays to contain projects in process, and even the coffee pot to waste time. A lot of coffee and a lot of time spent drinking it, it seems.

The real reason we only schedule classes during 3 or 4 months of the year is that every 2 or 4 months of the year we need motivation to reset the shop and clean the floor. I am sure when the students show up they think that it always looks neat and clean. At least I can appreciate the space each time we open for students. It is always nice to have a fresh start.

The second floor was built for the school, since we needed a better space for teaching almost as soon as we had the idea to establish the American School of French Marquetry, Inc. There is 2,000 square feet of work space, with skylights. There is a lecture/study area with a projection screen, lots of books and bookcases, tables and chairs, and light tables. There is a computer area which has two Macs available for student use. There is a large cutting area which has an overhead saw, a long row of different sizes of chevalets, and a foot powered treadle saw. There is also several picking machines, both antique and modern. There is the assembly/work area, with the glue pot, hand tools, tables and stools for everyone to sit and put together their projects. And there is the break/snack area, with coffee, fruit and nuts, energy bars and tea. Plenty for all.

Since we have very small classes, there is a close connection between the teacher and student. Patrice and I teach the techniques, and Kristen teaches art theory and design. If we have a class of 6 students, the student/teacher ration is 2:1.
So far we have enjoyed great success in helping all students to complete the projects in the proper amount of time. It is a unique experience, and we appreciate the positive and diverse feedback we receive at the end of each class.

Most importantly, we appreciate making friends with all people who love the art of marquetry. See you in school!

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