This year has been quite productive thus far. Still nothing on the job-front, yet. But after completing four class sessions thus far, I’m feeling confident that my dream of getting involved in organ building will become more of a reality than I even thought a year ago when I sent out over two dozen letters and resumés.

What have I learned thus far? Much.

First and foremost, I’ve learned that I had NOT forgotten a whole lot from my basic woodworking classes in high school. Our first project of this class I’m taking is to build a sanding block using hand tools. It was a ton of fun! I got to do things I hadn’t necessarily done before, using chisels and hand planers, and I have been having a blast. Our next project is making a picture frame where the two upper joints will be bridal joints, and the two lower joints will be half laps (same technique being used on the organ façade my brother-in-law and I are working on).

Much of what I’ve learned thus far is just a lot of common sense stuff. There have been a few things that were new to me, but much of it has been a lot of knowing A and B, but making the connection between the two to get to C.  Honestly between learning from my brother-in-law, and this class, I really am wondering why I didn’t get involved in this stuff a heck-of-a-lot sooner…

I’m also struck by how similar this craft is to doing design work on a computer. Yes, it’s dealing with a completely different medium, but the similarities are there. The precise measuring, layout, building larger elements from smaller elements. I can honestly say that, though I wish I had pursued organ building much earlier than now, however, I now see how my college education in art/design will aid me greatly in the pursuit of this dream.

Even with only four class sessions under my belt I am gaining a great appreciation for wood working. And when you think of it on a grand scale, like organ building, I’m humbled. The TIME and ENERGY and craft that goes into these instruments (even the smallest and simplest ones) is staggering. It is a no wonder the building of an instrument is 1) expensive and 2) takes a long time! But the result is all the more incredible to me. The finished product is not only a testament to great woodworking, but is also an incredible unique sculpture, and one that can produce amazingly beautiful sounds to make music that can move a soul!

I now know that I would be lying to myself to say that I would NOT want to be involved in something like that! In the meantime I keep plugging away with the classes I want to take (4-5 of them), and keep working on the organ façade with my brother-in-law. Learn, learn, learn!

I love it!

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