This week I will prepare for class at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne, NY. For the past five years I have been teaching classes on lamp shade making. Not only do I think it is important to share your knowledge with others, but through teaching I have learned new techniques myself. My classes consist of two half days and each student creates two lamp shades and two nightlights. I bring all of the tools and supplies needed for the students, they just have to bring their patience and creativity!
I clearly remember the first class I taught. I was terribly nervous, the only teaching I had ever done was Girl Scouts. This was a group of 8 adults that expected me to help them create these beautiful lamp shades they would proudly display in their homes. Fortunately, everything went great. The students were excited to learn, I was well prepared and everyone enjoyed the class and left pleased with their finished product.
I continue to teach at the Folk School a couple times each year. I have added classes at Rustic Charm in Chestertown and have now started my “traveling workshop”. Earlier this fall I was invited to The Antlers in Raquette Lake to teach a workshop for SUNY Cortland alumni. What a great experience teaching another wonderful group of students in such a beautiful setting. I appreciated the invitation and look forward to more opportunities like that.
I am a firm believer that we are all given certain skills and talents, some that come naturally and others we have the spark but need to work harder to fully develop it. Once we have accepted those ‘Gifts’ and become confident in our ability, I think we are obligated to teach others who are interested in learning the same. So explore and enjoy whatever it is that inspires you, but remember to Live and Learn and Pass It On!