By Cathy Cole, Woodworking Teacher
What do you get when you take a group of energetic children and give them a nice piece of wood? You get a bunch of creative, hardworking, and happy woodworkers! Since September, the Grade 5, 6 and 7 students have been busy learning new skills - and honing old ones with myself in the Woodworking room.
Grade 5 students have eagerly embraced their brand new class. They were like sponges as they first learned important class safety rules and listened intently as they learned how to take a piece of cherry wood and make magic happen. Rasping and filing with care brought their wood to life and they soon saw a spatula begin to emerge! Sanding with great care will soon produce the smooth surface necessary before they can apply a wonderful beeswax finish and proudly take their projects home.
Grade 6 students were excited to start carving spoons in September and Grade 7s are continuing their work on the spoons and bowls they started late last spring. They have variously embraced the challenges - some students eagerly put all their energy into the task, and others are decidedly more cautious at first.
While rasping away the corners of the wood, rounding off the back, and using a gouge to carve the bowl, the students discover the wonderful relationship between convex and concave forms as they see their spoon or bowl begin to take shape. The students who recently chiseled off excess wood from their spoon to shape their handles experienced a huge rush as they exclaimed, ‘this is so satisfying’!
Woodworking in the Waldorf curriculum provides a window into the developing will of the child as they learn to navigate new challenges, and feel their sense of pride blossom when they create a beautiful and useful finished projects.