Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Woodshop Christmas Project #2- Reindeer & Christmas Critter's (part 2)

The Christmas critters classes have continued and as usual the kids have come up with even more original and creative ideas. It amazes me every year with how many new ideas can be visualized and created by my students and 2009 has seen the addition of several new Christmas "critters".

The deer that I'm showcasing in the picture to the right was made by Arturo and he finished it just this morning. In every class there's always one or two students who are so caught up in such laser beam concentration upon their project that it's fun for me to just look over their shoulders as the gears in their minds direct their hands into some great creations. Arturo was that student who didn't utter a word in todays class as he was so caught up in his deer. As you can see the white feathers that he hot glued in place really set off the antlers making it the dominant focal point when you look at his deer. Nice work Arturo!

Hands were busy again all week long on getting the miniature deer finished before Christmas break and so far it looks like we will stay right on schedule. The holiday woodshop classes alternated between working on the birdhouses and the Christmas critters so things are busy around our parts right now. It also amazes me to see how such a simple project can stimulate the minds of all age groups. Several of the counselors were also able to attend some of the woodshop classes this holiday session and it was hard to separate their enjoyment with making this project from that of the kids.
Another new creation that came out of this years holiday classes was "Rudolph the red-nosed horse" as the picture to the right explains. This critter came out of the mind of Anthony who had a hard time during his first several months in our program and his anger even prevented him from participating in his first woodshop class. As the days and months have passed by Anthony has become one of my best and most confident students and that is something that I'd never have predicted four or five months ago. It was a joy to work with Anthony on his idea to make a Christmas horse. As he progressed from one idea to another on turning his plan into a reality Anthony would usually ask my advice on how to solve a certain problem. We had such a great time, mostly laughing as such a hilariously new critter was created right before our eyes. It was such a great experience that I decided to make a small colt as you can see as the smaller critter in the picture to the right. Once again it's amazing how such a simple project can have such enormous power to foster positive relationships, muster up new-found confidence, and the capacity to help change lives for the better. Great job Anthony!

Quienten was another student who chose to exceed expectations in my woodshop class with his chillin' Christmas chicken as seen in the picture to the left. This was a top secret creation and I watched his progress through two classes before I completely understood what he was doing. I knew that he wanted to make some kind of bird but I wasn't so sure about Quienten's methods. Regardless, I kept the faith that he was on the right track and continued to allow him the creative freedom to continue as he always appeared so confident with his hands although I knew that his brain was occasionally straining to it's limits. In the end I must admit that I was both amazed and pleased at what he'd come up with and Quienten was so proud.

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