Here we are at Monday again already. It is hard to believe that another weekend has come and gone again. I spent the majority of the day yesterday working on the pattern packet for the Grizzly Pull Toy and I do believe that it is finished. I only need to have it proof read and it will be ready to go.
I wound up putting 19 step-by-step photos in the pattern and that is what seemed to take much of the time for me. I realize that it may be a bit of overkill, but after talking to lots of people here and in person, it seems that they like to have as much instruction as possible on projects such as these.
The more I talk with people, the more I see a need for clear and comprehensive instructions. I would rather err on the side of providing too much information rather than not providing enough. I have had a few customers ask me in the past why I repeat the basic steps over and over again in each of the patterns that I make. I defend myself on that practice because I want all levels of woodworkers to be able to completely understand the instructions and be successful at building the project.
One of the (many) good things that interacting with other woodworkers has shown me is not to assume what others may or may not know. I found that someone could be a master in one area of woodworking and still have only minimal knowledge in another. This was most evident when I was at the show in Saratoga Springs. I think it was a great benefit for me to talk with others regarding scroll sawing because it showed me that some of the things that now came to me as second nature were not common knowledge to many. It really opened my eyes and made me understand that I do have something to offer in the way of teaching.
I look at each pattern packet as a mini-lesson in scroll sawing. While it is easy for me to fall into a routine when stating instructions, talking with others reminded me just how much people depend on me to show them how to make a successful project. I find that after the last several months of talking with others and teaching at the show that I am taking even more care to be thorough in making patterns. When others ask questions, it shows me that perhaps I wasn’t quite as complete as I could have been in explaining a certain aspect of process.
I want those who purchase my patterns and make the projects that I design to have good and positive feelings about doing so. Nothing is more frustrating than having a set of instructions that is either vague or incomplete. I think we have all had that experience one time or another and it certainly didn’t encourage us to buy more patterns from the same company or designer. It certainly didn’t help us want to continue with the hobby. I hope that those who purchase my patterns find them easy to follow and that creating the project is fun and pleasurable. After all, that is what having a hobby is all about.
I don’t know if I mentioned that I was asked by MsDebbie to conduct an online class here to teach scroll sawing. I am very excited about this chance to introduce this type of woodworking to those who want to learn. I am sure that there will be all levels of woodworking that will be following the class and I hope that by the time I am finished, I will have helped everyone see how enjoyable using their scroll saw can be.
I think that the best way to teach this type of class is to start at the very beginning with the basics. I have already had several requests for me to do so. The woodworkers here who do have some experience with scroll sawing may not find that they will learn much from the class initially, but hopefully throughout the process they may pick up a tip or two that they had not known about. At the very least, I think that their input for the class will be valuable to everyone.
I have always felt that I learn each time I teach. I find that in scroll sawing, like most everything, there is more than one correct way to accomplish things. Learning several options and doing what you are most comfortable with make the hobby fun and exciting. I am looking forward to not only introducing scroll sawing to some, but also to helping those of you who only tried it a couple of times to advance your knowledge and skill and even to learn a few new things myself. This will be a wonderful experience for me too. I hope that many of you decide to participate.
With that said, I will spend the rest of today finishing up the patterns for the three new candle trays. It is almost time for another update to the site, as both Keith and I have several new patterns to put up there. Keith has also been making some beautiful pens (some which he has posted here on LJ’s) which he is putting up for sale on the new “Items for Sale” page. Hopefully he will find a good market for them so he can continue to make more of them.
It looks like it will be a busy day, but seeing things progress is both encouraging and satisfying. I hope you all have a good productive day too.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"