A small group of students from Crabapple Crossings public school have opted to take a very special elective class – wood shop. The class is taught by local builder Mr. Bertram Beaver.
“It’s so important to get children interested in skills and hobbies like wood working,” he says. “And wood working truly nurtures so many important life skills. I think it is especially great for teaching children how to problem solve and tackle difficult tasks. They have to design, plan, and follow through on those plans. As well as deal with realistic solutions to any hiccups they may encounter along the way.”
This year, three children signed up for the class: Patrick Porker, Caleb Cuddle-Bear, and Sally Squirrel.
“My favorite part was getting to use the neat tools. The saw is my favorite,” says Caleb Cuddle-Bear.
“I liked making the plans,” says Patrick Porker. “Figuring out what steps to take and when is quite the brain workout!”
“Painting the project was the best part,” says Sally Squirrel. “It’s kind of fun to be allowed to make a mess.”
The project the children made is a doll house.
“We brainstormed lots of ideas,” says Patrick Porker. “But Mr. Beaver really encouraged us to do the dollhouse. He said that it would help us build our skills and give us lots of opportunities to problem solve.”
The children are quite proud of their project, but could not decide who should get to keep it.
“We all worked on it equally – it wouldn’t be fair for just one of us to get to have it,” says Caleb Cuddle-Bear.
“So we agreed that we should raffle it off,” says Sally Squirrel.
Raffle tickets can be purchased exclusively at the grocery store. All proceeds will be used for next year’s wood shop students. All three students agree that taking the class has been a lot of fun and that they would encourage their friends to give it a try.
Says Patrick Porker, “It feels so good to be able to say ‘I made this!'”
I was so honored when I saw that this round of Iron Craft was at least partially inspired by my tiny projects! It makes me so happy to know that people enjoy my silly little things. With the theme being “Teeny Tiny” I didn’t want to totally rest on my laurels, as it were. I’m planning on making all of my Iron Craft projects teeny tiny, so doing just any mini didn’t seem to be keeping with the spirit of the challenges. So I decided to embrace the challenge – and make something tiny for my tinies. And really, the only tiny thing I could think of was a dollhouse.
I doubt I’ll ever make a dollhouse for a dollhouse again. The process was really quite difficult and frustrating. For context, the dollhouse is just under 1-1/2″ tall at the apex of the roof and 1″ across. I used 1/16″ thick bass wood for the project. With all minis, measuring and cutting correctly is very important, but with things this small, it has to be just right or it won’t work. Because the wood is so thin, I found it difficult to get good adhesion with my glue. And painting on the details was a true exercise in frustration. I’m really not all that happy with how it came out. The roof doesn’t fit quite right, as I couldn’t figure out how to cut the thin edges of the bass wood to the correct angle. The painting is amateur at best. My consolation is that at least for the story, I can say the kids made it.
I continued with my folly by doing a bit of decorating on the inside. The bottom floor has a stove and cabinet (you can’t see it, but there are drawn-on details on the front of the stove and the cabinet) and the top floor has a bed with painted pillows and a paper comforter.
So I guess this was a good experience in that I learned that I never want to do it again. I will definitely leave the 1:144 scale and micro minis to the professionals. I just don’t have the skills or the patience for it.