Monday, 8 August 2011

Ecole Boulle School of fine Art and Crafts

Back in January I was put in contact with a French student who is studying product design in the Ecole Boulle School of fine arts and crafts Paris. This student is now with me for a week studying woodturning as part of her project of looking at the Arts and Crafts movement of Great Britain.

Obviously I was very priveledge that my work had impact enough for a student from abroad to want to come and study with me for a whole week.

While it is my job to tutor and to teach woodturning including my slant on the craft. It is also a great opportunity for me to meet a student, who coming from such an advanced fine art and design school will I have no doubt teach me a lot also.

One of the valued parts about teaching is that I always learn from my students. Many have experience in other feilds such as teaching, industry, University etc, and have skills that due to my background I have not formally followed.

This in turn ties in well with a philosophy that I continue to study and try to keep at the forefront of my everyday work, this being "beginners mind".

For me it is an invaluable mind set to work with. Not only does it help me to understand how I should teach a beginner, (often having a certain level of skill in something will cloud the mind and hinder how I get the process across). By Keeping this "beginners mind" at the forefront I can look at the craft not only from a studentss point of view, but also to explain and quantify the techniques of the craft in a language that can be understood. It also anables me to look at the way I am working from a fresh perspective or different angle.

To assume that we know it all is obviously a dangerous place to be. Of course I do not, far from it and that is why I am very excited about working with this student.

I may be the teacher from the technical aspect but I have the feeling that I will be the student from a design perspective as I do not have other than engineering, CAD CAM qualifications
(which are out of date), have any formal design/art training. While I have studied water colour and pastel painting, drawing, classical guitar etc etc, these have always been persued as an interest, rather than a formal study.

All of my training is self generated from research with trial and error, there are of course freinds who mentor and help me along my way. But having a condensed, focussed and structured course to follow must be an amazing thing to be part of. (One for the To Do, list when the children leave home).

It will be interesting to talk about my design philosophies which are based heavily in Zen and Eastern ways of thinking, compared to a more formal background.

What a great week it is going to be. So much to teach,learn and exchange.

I hope to post pictures once the week has progressed.


Mood Wood said...

"What a great week it is going to be. So much to teach,learn and exchange."

I couldn't agree more.

You are my mentor and deepest inspiration, it will indeed be a pleasure to share the same space with you for a few days not to mention actually see, hold and secretly slip some of your work into my MASSIVE 'Mark Sanger Original' hold-all without you noticing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great week Mark, won't be long now before you and I can celebrate it's end with a 'wee dram' to relax mind and body.

Much kindness my Friend,


Mark said...

Hi Lee

It is very kind of you to express such words about myself. Although I have to say that I am not sure I warrant such comments, but I will take them anyway. :-).

You will realise when you come down that my firewood pile is just as big as the next turners.

Thank you again. I look foreward to you coming down with your family.

Take care