Friday, August 9, 2013
This last few weeks has been quite an eye opener for those of us here at the school. Why, you ask?? Well, it’s just that our staff isn’t exactly used to feeling like mere babes, still wet behind the ears. But two of our students have changed all of that (and we’d like to thank them)!
Last week we were delighted to welcome Jacques Hadler, a long-time student at the school and an even longer-time student of life, back to our lathe room for our “Woodturning with Jimmy Clewes” class. You see, Jacques is 94 years young and still an avid wood turning student here at MASW! In fact, we can pretty much count on seeing Jacques back each and every year. The thing that never seems to change, is his excitement to try new techniques and new challenges. If it weren’t for his kindly disposition, he’d put a lot of us younger guys to shame, as it’s not unusual for him to show as much (or more) enthusiasm than many of our younger students (and occasionally, even the assistant)! When asked how he manages to maintain this youthful disposition and love of learning, he answers that since he works (that’s right, he still works as a professor of Naval Architecture at the Web Institute) with other faculty members (think guys in their 50’s) and instructs 20 year old students, their zest for life and learning makes him feel like he’s one of them. More proof that the right environment, one that supports ongoing and continual improvement, helps keep you young at heart! Since providing the right environment is a big part of what our school delivers each week, we’re glad to play our part in helping our student body keep that youthful zest for knowledge and new skills alive and well. So, many thanks Jacques! Your presence at our school is part of the reason we come in each day, invigorated and ready for something new.
As if Jacques visit wasn’t enough to make us question our relative ages, the following week we got another dose of youth when Joe Link, our oldest school alumni, arrived for Veneering: a Course of Action for Making Furniture with Marc Adams. Joe is 96 years young and an active woodworker. And when I say active, I mean really active!! You see, Joe has 11 children, so when he chooses his annual woodworking project (he’s currently working on a series of gate-leg tables), he knows that whatever he decides on will need to be made 11 times. That’s right. When he decides to make a piece, he makes one for every one of his children (and if he wants one for himself, he makes 12)! That’s considerably more woodworking than men half his age do. But wait - there’s more! In addition to the 11 children, Joe has some 35 grandchildren. As you can imagine, when he decided to make a personalized marquetry box for each one, it was no small undertaking. But regardless of whether it’s veneered keepsake boxes or a set of 13 Windsor chairs, Joe is up to the task. When I asked him what his advice is for younger woodworkers, without missing a beat he said, “Go to Marc Adams School of Woodworking”. I guess it would be foolish of me to question 96 years of lifetime experience. Many thanks for your kind words and obvious passion for the craft, Joe. It’s part of what makes this school what it is!
And for all you youngster’s, what are you doing sitting around? We’ve all got to get busy if we’re going to keep up with the likes of these two!!!