I spent the Thursday and Friday having a great time rehearsing and filming a third show with Roy Underhill for his PBS TV show, The Woodwright’s Shop. He gave me a challenge of carving details on several furniture legs that he had acquired that really needed some help. They were awkwardly shaped, and some quite bulky – he had gotten several hundred of these from a furniture factory that closed down. My job was to somehow make these legs look attractive with carvings – if not attractive, at least a little more interesting. It was definitely a challenge, and I ventured past my classical training, which I rarely have an opportunity to do these days.
I am getting more comfortable in front of cameras, and each time I do a show with Roy, I learn to relax a little more. It was a fun show – lots of laughter, some pretty bad jokes, and even got some carving done! With Roy’s personality, he helps you get over any anxiety of doing an entire show that doesn’t edit anything. Scarey!
Then Saturday and Sunday I taught a beginning carving class with 9 students at Roy’s school in Pittsboro – The Woodwright’s School. The class went really well and it’s always fun having Roy around the class helping with video, assisting the students in hand-grinding gouges that needed desperate help in sharpening (he is the king of v-chisel sharpening!), and just being that entertaining “Roy”.
The atmosphere at the school is very comfortable, with the workshop being on the main street of a tiny little North Carolina town where there is a traditional soda shop next door. Everything about it makes the whole experience worthwhile – both for teacher and student. We even offered to turn off the electricity and carve by candle-light so the students could experience the true 18th century style workshop. Since it was about 30 degrees outside (and snowing!) nobody was too eager to take us up on that offer. Where is the dedication to get the real feel of the times????