Time for some adult education…

Okay, it’s official.

I am going back to school.

And you’re going … wha?

Trust me on this.  Chuck is digging out his old Trapper Keeper and getting ready to take classes again.

Let me explain.

In the years after my 2011 divorce, I’ve participated in several self-taught art projects.  First came the Dream Windows, where I took vintage window frames and redressed them as new art projects.

Dream Window 19: On The Edge. Photo: Leica M3 with Kodak Tri-X 400 film. Creation by Chuck Miller.

In addition to the Dream Windows, I added my various Crate Art Projects to the mix.  With the Crate Art Projects, I disassembled various milk crates, soda crates, whatever wooden boxes that originally carried beverages or foodstuffs, and reassembled them into new, functional art pieces.  This too is fun.

The Soda Crate Hope Chest. Created by Chuck Miller.

But here’s the thing.  Every time I’ve worked on a project, I’ve had to learn the basics from trial and error.  The Dream Window projects?  Self-taught.  The Crate Art Projects?  All by myself.

So … maybe it’s time to actually take a few classes.

Yesterday, I signed up for a one-day class at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne, to learn – of all things – wood turning.

Yep, I’m going to stand in front of a wood lathe and use chisels to turn a chunk of wood into a decorative chunk of wood.

This may be my first “adult education” class, but it won’t be my last.

Because I’m also looking at my various local craft stores and home improvement centers to take free or reduced cost classes in other educational skill projects.

Why am I doing this?  Why am I getting involved in new projects?

I turn the question around.  Why not get involved in new projects?

Here’s the thing.  For me to get started in wood turning, I would have to purchase a lathe.  Lathes are not cheap.  And they’re not small.  A decent wood lathe would be incompatible with apartment life.

But if I give wood turning a one-time try … perhaps I can make arrangements to work with the Adirondack Folk School on other wood turning classes, or maybe some one-on-one purchased education or company time.  In other words, if I don’t at least take a moment to try something, I may not discover a new, previously untapped skill.

And besides … what’s to stop me from making a brand new bowl?