Our goal in teaching woodworking is not to produce master cabinetmakers or carpenters but to create a curiosity in our students that has them question the how and the why of building and making.
Blessed with 500 acres of mature forest, Dublin students get the joy of often working using lumber harvested from our land. In our program, independent, creative thinking is encouraged and developed. Students’ projects go through a process of research, drawing, and production. Original plans are often assessed, critiqued, and reworked before construction. The goal is to allow students the time and space to grasp concepts and then become creative, critical thinkers. Sequential and daily tasks enable students to develop skills and control of the material, tools, and machinery. Recent graduates have gone on to study woodworking at Savannah College of Art and Design and incorporate the craft into their everyday lives.
An integral part is in creating interdisciplinary connections. We teach about all aspects of wood as a medium, from grain and wood composition on a structural and biological level to function and aesthetic design. The mutually beneficial relationship between the arts and other subjects solidifies understanding and appreciation. Math is utilized daily as students apply functions from geometry, algebra, and fractions. These hands-on applications allow students to make connections and apply their learning to creative problem-solving strategies. When students work on group projects, they communicate, share ideas, make decisions, delegate tasks, and participate in problem-solving. Through the hands-on process of woodworking, students make connections that create deeper meaning and give students ownership of their work and learning.
In the end, the creative process often results in a product of great utility and exquisite beauty where the joy of creation is matched by elegant execution.