No one is more aware of how quickly time passes than I am. It seems as if it was only a couple of weeks ago that we were at the car show on a wonderful road trip in the ninety degree weather. Yesterday though, we had snow throughout the day, with huge, fluffy flakes falling on the six inches that had already arrived during the night.
Although winter is in full swing, I know that spring is just around the corner and before long the snow will be gone and warmer weather will be here. So will the Northeastern Woodworkers Association Fine Woodworking Showcase which I have been invited to be one of the demonstrators at.
I can’t tell you how excited I am getting about this show. There are so many reasons I am going to love it. Not only will I be able to see all the new toys and tools that we woodworkers dream about, but I also am going to be able to see some incredible projects (and learn to be a judge) and meet so many new people from all aspects of woodworking. I am also going to be able to see many of my friends whom I haven’t seen in years. I don’t know when I am going to sleep (probably not a lot) and if I could have one wish, it would be to pack 48 hours into each 24 hour day that I am there.
With the holidays behind me and everything in my shop in order, I think it is high time for me to really start to concentrate on my presentations that I will be giving for the lectures. I want every single person who attends my class to walk away with something positive and I want the experience to be good for them.
I was thinking about it yesterday morning and I began seeing myself get a bit worked up and nervous about the entire thing. I certainly don’t want to stand up in front of a room of people and look foolish. It seems that even though I can easily type out a conversation here on my computer, it is much more difficult for me to stand up in front of a crowd. If I think about it too much, I really can work myself up about it. I am the type of person that likes one on one conversations and have never really felt comfortable speaking up in a group. But I suppose that will have to change, won’t it?
In thinking about things, I find that my best way to overcome my fears will be to be well-prepared for the class. After all, I am not speaking to an angry mob or anything like that. These people are friendly and thirsty to learn about scrollsawing in general. I am finding through answering many questions on a daily basis from people both here and from customers that most of the time the answers to their questions do come easily and I do have a bit of knowledge on the subject. If I don’t know the answer to something, I have several knowledgeable friends that I can refer them to which will help them find answers. Over the years, I have joined a great network of people who are willing and able to help others and give incredibly helpful advice to the new comer. Through places such as lumberjocks and Steve Good’s forum and with the assistance of our computers and Google there is a world of information at our fingertips. It is a great time to be a woodworker.
So I began getting ready for the show yesterday by organizing my thoughts on what I want to talk about. I will be giving two classes each day, and I am understanding that each class is to be different. Since scrollsawing encompasses many different techniques and is such a versatile tool, there is a huge amount of information that can be presented. That in itself can be overwhelming. Add to that the demographics of those attending the class and you can see the need for some clear direction that the lectures need to be presented.
Since there will be all levels of woodworkers present – from beginners to very advanced – I have the challenge of providing information which will satisfy the most experienced sawyer without loosing the newcomer. In order to do this, I feel that I need to move fairly quickly from subject to subject, without dwelling too long on one particular aspect. This way I will be able to touch on a broad range of topics and keep people interested even if they already have some knowledge of what I am talking about. Hopefully, in the process I will include some nuggets of information that will be new to even the more experienced scroll sawyer. That way everyone can walk away feeling as if they got something out of the class.
Of course, there will be a question and answer section at the end of each lecture which will help clarify things to those who may have not quite understood. I always look forward to that, as I like being able to help others and seeing which areas that I perhaps didn’t cover completely. I will also be providing some written material for those who attended the class, so they have something to take home with them to remind them what has been discussed. I think that is a must given that there will be so much information presented.
I began yesterday by taking the time and making an outline of the point that would be interesting and that I would want to cover in the class. I listed the items I felt were important to discuss, and I was amazed that it took three sheets of paper to do so. That was promising to me, as one of my biggest fears is that i would run out of things to talk about in the time frame allowed for the class (OK – you can stop laughing now!)
My next task will be to divide the items into the two levels of classes. Perhaps the more general and basic items for the beginners and the more involved procedures and techniques for the intermediate class. It started to shape up rather quickly and I was quite encouraged after only a couple of hours of working on it. There is hope after all.
I am going to spend the next couple of weeks detailing each point that I wrote on that outline and I am sure at that time I should have the necessary information that I will need to compile a couple of comprehensive classes. I think it will be fun to do and I will probably also learn a bit more about things in my own research. It really amazed me that just by outlining things and writing them down made a huge difference in the level of anxiety that I was feeling toward doing this. I know that with the proper preparation, things would be fine and I would hopefully have lots of information to share with others to help them with their scrollsawing. It will really be fun after all.
I would like to invite you over the next few weeks for your input. Since I have been scroll sawing for over 15 years, I find that I may take some things for granted regarding the process of scrolling. If you have any thoughts on the subject, please feel free to submit your questions or suggestions as to what you would want to know about if you were to attend a lecture or class on scroll sawing. You can either PM me or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or ask a question here of what you would like to know about. This would help keep me in a good direction for the class and make a better class for everyone. I really would appreciate your input a lot.
On other things, my editor accepted the Bee Candle Tray for the magazine, so I need to prepare the project and instructions for travel. He already accepted another of my partner’s projects (a wonderful segmented welcome sign for spring or summer) and I would like to sent the two items together. I also have until next weekend to submit any new stuff to my major wholesaler for the next catalog, so I had better get my butt moving again and get designing.
It is good to be back at work again on this stuff!
Happy (snowy) Tuesday
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"