My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #268: Classes Are All Mapped Out

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 02-26-2011 03:19 PM 5004 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 267: Little Curve Balls Part 268 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 269: Plans, Plans and More Plans . . . »

To start off, I will say that I am in a far better position than I was yesterday. I made some phone calls and figured some things out and it is quite a relief to me to get things in order and lined up.

I spoke with my friend Jeannie and got the answers to most of my questions regarding the extra classes that I am going to teach after the show. I immediately felt much of the anxiety draining away, and I am happy to say that I had a most productive day.

It seems that I am going to be teaching an all day scroll saw class, as well as two- three hour painting classes on my way back through town through her area the week after the show. The Northeastern Woodworkers Association, who hosts the Showcase, has a wonderful facility to hold classes in and that is where I will be teaching.

For the scroll saw class, I decided that I am going to teach the Autumn Leaves Candle Tray and Charms project. We will cover every step from applying the pattern to spraying on the final finish.

From Leaf Candle Tray

This is one of my first candle tray holder patterns, and it uses a variety of techniques, yet is fairly easy to accomplish even for the beginner scroll sawyer. The process of cutting the recessed center of the tray on an angle is easy, yet it is still intimidating to many new scrollers. I think that by walking them through this, they will see how easy it is to accomplish and also be able to apply it to many other projects that they may want to do.

The actual cutting of the leaves is fun and not very intimidating, as there is a lot of room for error if the scroller isn’t as familiar. I can teach different ways of approaching corners and curves and even if the student isn’t exactly on the line, the design will still look nice.

I am also going to show the class how to apply the color using the staining medium and acrylic paints. This process can be used in so many future applications on all types of woodworking and scroll sawing.

The facility will be able to accommodate up to ten students, which will make the class small enough to give personal attention to each of those who attend. I am happy about the relaxed time frame too. When I cut the tray out, it took approximately 2-3 hours for the basic cutting of the leaves. This will leave us plenty of time for questions and full interaction with the students and hopefully that will translate to them getting the most out of the class. By the end of the day, they will each be able to bring home a completed project. I think it will be a fun day and I am really looking forward to it a lot.

The two painting classes will be on two separate days and last approximately three hours each. I have been developing painting patterns specifically for these classes and am just about finished with it. The patterns consists of ten sea shell ornaments or magnets. I felt that sea shells are a good, universal subject that most people will like. The ornaments are small and not difficult to accomplish and they are also not an exacting subject (such as something where you had to paint a face or eyes) so even the beginner painter can complete them and have a nice project when finished.

I also liked them because they will enable me to teach four of the most basic painting techniques of decorative painting: base coating, float shading, dry brush highlighting and line work. With knowing these four techniques, you can probably accomplish most painting projects. The shell designs are quite forgiving too so that the students will be able to complete them even knowing only these basic skills and still wind up with an attractive project.

Since I want to include several photographs in the pattern packet, I have decided to divide the ten shells that I designed into to separate patterns. This way it will be easier to show the step-by-step process in detail and still keep the pattern a reasonable size.

I am going to teach Set A on one day and Set B on the next, and offer extra pattern packets available for those who may not be able to attend both. For each class, I will be able to accommodate 20 students, and the goal will be to complete one to two of the five sea shells in the pattern. Besides providing them with the pattern, I will also give them a set of blank wood pieces to paint. This way once the class is finished, they can take home the remaining pieces and continue practicing.

Here are some pictures of the other shells:

From SLDP104 Seashells

From SLDP104 Seashells

From SLDP104 Seashells

From SLDP104 Seashells

From SLDP104 Seashells

I have two more to complete today of the ten. I then am going to make the pattern packets and I have to provide the photos and information for the class advertisements. I also need to order up the paint and literally get cutting on the blank pieces. I suppose it is going to be a full weekend.

I feel so much better though now that all is mapped out. They seem to think that the scrolling class will definitely sell out and whether the painting classes do or not it won’t really matter to me. I have taught painting classes to any number of people from one to 35 and I am very comfortable in that role. I think the attendance for those two classes will probably fall somewhere in the middle. It seems that whenever I offer a painting class among woodworkers, they always sell out or nearly sell out. There is a good amount of interest among woodworkers in learning the process of decorative painting and no matter what, it will be a great way to end a nice long trip.

Meeting the people will also be great and teaching in their new facility will be a treat. I am sure I will have lots of pictures and stories to tell along the way.

Happy Saturday! I hope you get some time to play in the shop!

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

4 comments so far

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4086 days

#1 posted 02-26-2011 03:30 PM

That sounds like a Great plan, Sheila. One thing: Don’t Forget to go loaded with business cards or some kind of flyers to hand out to your students so they can order more patterns later, or be guided to your website! Each new face is contact and future customer!


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2920 days

#2 posted 02-26-2011 03:34 PM

Thanks, Barb. It feels so much better knowing what I am doing. :) Yes, I will have plenty of printed materials and business cards available, and my information is on every pattern packet that they get, too. I have been doing my printing here a little bit each day so I am not rushed at the end. Little by little . . . . :)


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

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 2881 days

#3 posted 02-26-2011 06:08 PM

I sure wish I lived in your neck-o-de-wood!

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3018 days

#4 posted 02-26-2011 09:19 PM

I know your paintings are flat but they sure do look 3-D! I am always amazed when people are able to paint and bring things to “life”. You will do better than fine at the show!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

P.S. Yes, we are finally feeling better after month and half!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

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