“1. Measuring: One of the first things students learn to do in Arts 525: Introduction to Woodworking is learn to use a ruler. Knowing how to measure inches and/or millimeters, is a foundational part of building, along with measuring 90 degree angles with a combination square, as the student in the photo is doing.
2. Alien and Ship: One of the first projects students are assigned in Introduction to Woodworking is to choose a secret item (any small item such as a stamp, an earring, a quarter, or in this case an alien) and build a box that expresses qualities about this secret item. Students create a mindmap, basically a visual cloud of words associated with their secret item, and pull from that cloud adjectives that they can apply to the shape of the box. The goal is to learn how a 3-dimensional object can communicate information through the form, color, texture, interior openings, etc.
3. Jess and her Chair: During COVID, the final project for Introduction to Woodworking was to design and build a chair. This project was chosen because the form could be radically simplified, if necessary, and taken home by students to finish in the event of a COVID outbreak. Students were all given basic plans for a chair and were shown how to customize the design to their liking. When final photos were taken, the students were allowed to “model” with their completed project, and Jess spontaneously climbed under her chair to pose for the photographer.
4. The Woodshop at Christmas: Pre-COVID, the woodworking program had a Christmas party every year. One of the best qualities of the students who take woodworking classes is their interest in being creative together whether working on serious projects such as tables and chair, or less serious projects such as paper hats and necklaces for our annual holiday party.”
—Leah Woods, Associate Professor of Art