Engraving Class of 2007
As some of you may know, I have taken a sabbatical from the teaching of Engraving. No good reason, just the life around here has gotten to be rather hectic, and it seemed that the teaching was getting in the way. Anyways, about 5 years ago, we came to a halt with the classes.
Well this last summer when I rode my bike across USA, I stopped in to visit with the good folks at GRS, and between Kim Pember and my friend Otis Moon, they managed to talk me into the teaching of a class in 07. This class was the culmination of that visit, and you know, I confess……….I really liked the class and the teaching.
Emporia Kansas, Engraving Class of 2007
Things are still hectic, and life seems to move at warp speed……….for all of us I am sure. I have agreed to come back to GRS in 08 and teach two classes. One class in the spring will be another beginner’s classes like all have been to this point. Then in the fall, I want to return and teach a more intermediate format class. With this class, each student will have to know how to sharpen, and we can spend our time on improved cutting, better layout discussions and engrave on projects more akin to what we encounter out here when we are trying to make a living at this game. SO, if you have any interest, I would suggest you call the folks at GRS.
By the way, since we are talking about classes and what not I will tell you that I am just now putting the final details together for a class to be held over in Visalia California, I will take a week in the spring of 08 and teach a bit and spur making class at the Sequoia College at the Ag Dept. Great guy there, Frank Tebeau is in charge so it will be fun. I have never done a class of this type, mainly because the logistics of such an affair will make you pale. We will not do any silver work, just iron work, trying for a pair of spurs and a bit in one week…………but lets get back to engraving shall weeeeee…..
In May, I was in Emporia Kanvas at the spectacular new GRS teaching facility. For those of you who do not know, GRS is the redound manufacturer of air assist engraving equipment and all the accessories you can imagine. Not to mention a roster on engraving instructors with abilities that will make yer knees weak and wobbly…………..and I don’t even include myself in that group. Doubt me, then head to www.igraver.com and take a look for your self.
Once again I was Blessed by the Lord for taking that chance, stepping out and committing myself to teach others that which feeds my family……..the art behind bright cut cowboy engraving. Yes, on one hand I am giving to others the skill to put me out of business……………..but in exchange for pending poverty, I get to call 12 new folks friend. No dollar amount fits when I think of it in these terms.
As is the case when ever I teach a class, I get a real eclectic group from work a day cowboys, to truck drivers and skilled artisans in their own right. It all makes for a memorable occasion thinking back on conversations and topics brought out over that 5 day intense class. There is no doubt about the old axiom of we all learn at different rates, it certainly holds true in each class, and what one person struggles with, on another aspect they will often excel at.
Frustration rears its ugly head every now and again, but for the most part the would-be student can be talked down off the class lampshade without having to call the fire department, and we can all have a laugh and move on, knowing full well that our time of frustration may yet still be coming.
We move thru the basics of tool geometry, and the places we would use each tool. Then into a little cutting with each new tool………so we can break them and sharpen them again…………….right guys. We move thru the cutting and change of directions as well as the prevalent corners used for making our shiny bright cut groups. It all takes time, and there is a lot of left right left right, this way that way, and what the heck corner did you say…………………..but by the fifth day it is actually starting to come together. You can see it in the students faces, that the Deer has left their headlights.
I had ex Pastors, wood carvers, one fellow who has been making bits and spurs longer than I have been alive……………..he’s an old rodeo hand and claims to have seen Jesus “Healing” in Jerusalem……….not sure if I believe him. From a strapping lad who shod horses, to a full time Jeweller, to an avid coin nut, yes I said coin nut. Yes, I see it now, you have that same blank look I had when he mentioned coins……….I glazed over and said something intelligent like…………ah, ah…….no foolin! It’s the same line that Hank the Cowdog uses everytime the Coyotes fool him.
Hobo coins, one of the fastest growing engraving types on the market today, and my friend Steve Cox made sure he mentioned it to me everyday. Steve, a student with considerable skill in place already, walked past me on his way out of the class on that last day and handed me a small box telling me that it was just a coin……..just a coin, see you later on down the road as he left the room. Now at the time I was still working with some of the other students, and so did not take time to open the box right at that moment.
Steve I apologize for not stopping and opening THAT BOX WITH JUST A COIN, right there. I opened it a little later when I got to the Motel Room, and I was awestruck and taken by surprise………..tears welled up and I grabbed a tissue……………..okay, I didn’t quite go to the tissue thing……………but Steve you done a heck of a job on this coin and many thanks for it. I shall keep it close to my heart, until I find a magnet, then I will keep it close to my fridge……………just kidding.
Steve , just wanted to tell you that somehow you missed my earring??
Steve had brought his little Gravermiester with him, and sat in the room at night after class and cut my likeness into the coin…………..so now I sit with the likes of Lincoln, Washington………….and the Queen. Oops, maybe that’s a buffalo on the other side. I look forward to teaching, and meeting new folks with these classes, it’s nice to have a few on the year’s roster of things to do. Thanks to all of you whom attended the class in Emporia, and thanks to the very capable staff at GRS for making it an easy class to teach.
Good night and God Bless
Just put this in for those of you whom don't know what Jeremiah looks like.......he looks a lot like this and very little resemblance to the Buffalo