My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #230: More Preparation

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-19-2011 02:01 PM 3882 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 229: Preparation is the Key Part 230 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 231: Two New Designs (and more to come) »

I appreciate very much the responses yesterday regarding questions that would be of interest to someone new at scroll sawing. The answers and conversations proved very helpful in allowing me to see what a new person would want to know. These questions are very helpful in preparing for the class and will give me a good starting point and open some pertinent dialogue with those attending.

I spoke with Jeannie yesterday, who is my friend who initially petitioned for me to come and speak at the showcase. I have known her for many years and she has always been a fun and knowledgeable person. Not only does she teach scroll sawing and lathe work, but she also paints and has taught painting to woodworkers. She and her husband Bill (who is also a great wood turner) are involved in many aspects of woodworking and also many clubs. She has been a great and positive influence in my life and I can’t wait to see her again.

I learned from our conversation a bit more about the show and the facilities and what teaching the class will entail. It seems that I will have a saw there for demonstration purposes, as well as just about anything else I want. There will even be someone there to take video of me cutting on the saw which will show up on a large screen for everyone to see. I think this will be very helpful in demonstrating some of the techniques that I would like to share. I am also going to see if I can get some kind of chalk board or message board, as I think that some points that I want to make will be best illustrated in that way.

I plan on bringing several different examples of not only types of woodworking that can be done on a scroll saw, but also examples of different techniques for finishing and assembly of items. I think that having the objects there for people to actually see will be the most effective way for people to learn.

When I was at a decorative painting convention several years ago, I took a class on teaching. One of the main points that was taught was that people basically learned in three different ways: The auditory learner gained the by listening, the visual learner gained the most from seeing things actually done and the tactile learner benefited mostly from actually preforming the task. Most people were not exclusive to one type of learning and were somewhat of a mixture of two or even all three types. I feel that this is a good thing to keep in mind when preparing the information.

I liked the point that was brought up yesterday that there is usually more than one right way to accomplish a task correctly. I have always felt this way in regards to doing things with the computer, and even painting, but it didn’t really occurred to me that this type of thinking could be applied to scroll sawing. The example that was brought up was in regards to applying the pattern to the wood, but the principle of that way of thinking could easily be applied to many different aspects of learning to scroll saw. I do feel that building one’s self-confidence is very important in the learning process and encouraging students to experiment with different techniques to find one that is most comfortable for them and will inspire them to be creative and help them enjoy the process of scroll sawing even more.

All in all it was a good day of gathering information. As I compile my list of techniques and operations, little by little I am feeling more comfortable with the presentation. Hopefully by the time I am actually there, I will be ready for just about anything and be organized and not worry so much about things.

Jeannie says she is planning to book me to teach in several of her clubs during my time there. I plan on staying in the area about a week, give or take a couple of days. I have asked her to plan my schedule for me, as she knows the area and also is the one involved with the clubs. She not only wants me to teach scroll sawing, but also a painting class or two to help those who want to learn some decorative painting techniques. I have taught many painting classes in the past, and to me that comes second nature, so the prep time to add in those classes will be minimal. It is a very comfortable area for me and I hope that by the time I am done with this trip, I will feel the same about teaching scroll sawing.

I find that although I am very excited about going, there is a part of me that won’t like leaving my home here and the cats and being out of my natural element. It has been a couple of years since I have traveled and sometimes it is difficult for me to leave for a day trip let alone seven to ten days. I am sure though that once on the road, I will get caught up in the excitement and the people and not only teaching my class but also all the wonderful things I will be learning myself and the time will fly by rather quickly. I am very happy that I am driving, as not only will that allow some flexibility in my schedule, but also then I will have the transportation I will need to go at will where I want to go. Nothing (except the show, of course) will be set in stone.

I am sure between the classes and the judging and the learning and meeting people and seeing all the show has to offer, I will have a great time. How the heck am I going to fit it into the time frame of a week? Not to mention the business opportunities that will be there. This will definitely be a turning point in my life.

I spent the rest of the day doing research and drawing. I have another deadline in a couple of days for my biggest wholesaler and need to get a few new designs to her by then. I plan on drawing for most of the day and hopefully I will be cutting by Thursday or Friday the latest. There always seems as if there is so much to do. I like that though and feel happy to have the challenges ahead of me.

Thanks again to you for your feedback. Please continue to ask questions and offer your opinions at any time. I truly appreciate them and consider you all a very valuable source of information.

Have a great Wednesday!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

7 comments so far

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2801 days

#1 posted 01-19-2011 03:26 PM

Once you get packed and get going you will be glad you went. Just pack light- black skirt, black slacks, black cardigan and a few blouses (wrinkle free) of various colors, black flats, black medium heels. You can go for a month on that. :) HAVE FUN!!!!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2883 days

#2 posted 01-19-2011 04:32 PM

I am going to take as few clothes as possible so I have room to take home some tools and stuff. ;) I am pretty good at packing ‘light’ on the clothes, but the other stuff is another thing. As the time gets closer, it will be fun to plan and I am pretty good with check lists. I am probably going to bring my printer so I can print out stuff as I need it. That will help a lot. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View stevebuk's profile


57 posts in 2647 days

#3 posted 01-19-2011 11:26 PM

hi sheila
as if you dont have me asking enough questions on facebook i have now just signed up here too. I have followed your progress through the ‘project’ with interest and admiration at your seemingly never ending march to get things done, bravo.
I am now following your preparation as you head towards this woodwork show as well as create more beautiful scroll stuff, as well as answer questions from a wannabe painter like me, but i feel you will have about the right attitude to pull off this seminar with flying colours, what with your skill and your moto ‘knowledge is power’ go get em..

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3078 days

#4 posted 01-19-2011 11:35 PM

great to hear you started to focus on the weekend :-)
but if the aria has anything you want to see or just want to spent a few hours on your own
then you hurry to the telephon and call her
and said you want at least every third day off scheduled
or ells she cuold very well make you too tired ….LOL

have a great evening

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2883 days

#5 posted 01-20-2011 12:03 AM

Thanks so much Steve! And Dennis – I will be HAPPILY exhausted, I bet! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View TJ65's profile


1376 posts in 3013 days

#6 posted 01-20-2011 10:52 AM

Hey – got to thinking about your question when I was scrolling today about what beginners should be taught.
Well one of the things I remember initially was to get your eye in. (Thankfully I dont have to worry about it now but it was a useful tip to start with _way back when! ) You know doing those stupid follow the line things just to help you get accustomed with the saw and following the pattern.
good luck

-- Theresa,

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2805 days

#7 posted 01-20-2011 05:44 PM

Theresa mentioned “those stupid follow the line things”. It made me think of something that may be asked on your class or you may want to bring up. Scrollsaw blades do not “track straight” I’m trying to think of the best way to describe what I’m talking about.
I taught one guy to scroll, and the hardest thing for him to get his head wrapped around was the fact that he thought the blade should cut perfectly straight with the saw, sort of like a bandsaw blade does. It does not. Because of a bur that is left on blades during the manufactoring process, they track to the right (or left depending on how you look at it). It takes practice to get used to this. They make some blades called PGT blades that are not supposed to do this. I tried those blades though and don’t feel they are worth the money since they do help with the problem, but does not eliminate it completely.
Steve Hutcheson explains this problem, in my opinion, better than anyone else I have heard. You can go to , under “Scroll Tips”, go to the “Just Learning” section, it is on about the fourth or fifth paragraph down.
Also of interest to some is an article over at Mike’s Workshop. I’m not suggesting that this part should be in your class, but he has an article with a couple of photos about how scrollsaw blades are made. You can read about that here. Towards the end of that article, he talks about the same tracking problem that I mentioned. In his article though, he contributes this to a bad spot on the roll of wire that is used in the process of making the blades. I disagree with that, because I have seen this problem to some extent on all blades. He and Rick both mention it on their sites, just one sees it as a problem on all blades and one does not. I do think it is something to think about though.


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