Archive for the ‘Classes’ Category

I’m in thinking-out-loud mode again.

I’m really excited about the possibilities of having a woodshop set up and accessible this winter.  We are continuing successful classes like bird carving and we’ve introduced Shaker box making.

I’ve been looking for a woodworking project that will bring families together to create a family tradition and heirloom.  I’m a boatbuilding kind of guy…and we will pursue that path…but in the mean time how about building a few toboggans?

I’ve poked around a bit and found a few ideas.  It’s a straight forward project and involves my favorite woodworking activity…bending wood!

Explore these links…

Toboggan Building – Popular Science, February 1941

A pdf of plans published from an unknown source.  Probably earlier than the article above.

Indiana’s Toboggan Tradition

Interested?  Share your ideas!


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Activities at Celebrating the Handmade Tradition, Blue Stone Folk School, Saturday September 18.

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I teach a ukulele building class every summer.  It is great fun!

It’s a six day immersion retreat and folks come from across the country to spend a day the the Folk School.  This class is the modle for what the Folk School is to become.

Every time I teach this class folks seem to come out of the woodwork that are local and don’t want to take a week’s vacation for a class (Ironically these same folks will take a week and go to residential retreats in othere areas.)  I’ve never been able to pull it together.  The issues are:

•   Folks don’t sign up.  I offered a 12 week course at the Indianapolis Art Center and only two people signed up.

•  We have to lease a shop.  This works for six days when the shop is in use all of the time, but it become problematic when we tie up someone elses shop for six to twelve weeks.

•  We had an opportunity to set up a semi-permanent shop in a smei-permanent home in July.  I taught my regular ukulele building class there (It was great) but things were up-in-the-air regarding how long we would be in the space and how the space could best be used by us.
•  Luthiery is very specialized woodworking and an instrument building workshop requires a number of specialized set-ups.  These tie up bench space and instructional space for other classes and projects.
•  I am worried about the level of student commitment.  Every multi-week class that we offer suffers from attrition.  Folks find that they have schedule changes, get tired of the drive or simply lose interest. Ukulele building is complex.  If a student misses a session it would be very difficult for the student to catch up.
The good news is that we have secured the Judge Stone House and our favorite workspace for three more months.  With this level of commitment by our hosts we are able to clean and establish more instructional and storage space.  In short, we’ve worked around most of our difficulties.
We’re focusing on a simplified uke, the cigar box uke.  Cigar box ukes simplify the process (but not as much as you think) and decrease cost (but not as much as you think) and play very well.  The most important aspects of ukulele building and design remain in the process.  It’s a great first step into luthiery.
We have no control over the first and last worries.  We’ll see if folks sign up (I sure hope so!) and keep coming to class.
Cigar Box Ukulele Building
4 or 5 Tuesday Evenings Begining October 19
7:00 – 9:00
Tuition $200, Materials $98
Build a high quality soprano cigar box ukulele.  These ukuleles feature first rate tuners, strings, pearl dot inlays, cedar or spruce tops and Indiana hardwood fingerboard and neck.  These are not cigar box ukuleles assembled from kits, but custom designed for the cigar box that you choose.
Plan to attend all class sessions.  This is a pilot class so an extra session is planned to ensure that projects are completed.

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Tom Park Trout Flies

You can review our email invite with photos of artwork here.

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I’m beginning a multi-week ukulele workshop tonight.  This blog posting is dedicated to providing resources for my students.  All are welcome to browse, share and comment.  Bookmark and visit soon!

We had our first class session last night.  I expected five or six students.  At the end of the night I counted eleven or twelve!  We had a great time.

Links – General Ukulele Sites

Flea Market Music

Ukulele Boogaloo

Links – Chord/Lyric Sheets

Ukulele Boogaloo Songbook

Link – Online Tuner (We Tune GCEA)

Flea Market Music Tuner

Online Ukulele Tuner


Puff the Magic Dragon (At tempo)

Puff the Magic Dragon (Slow)

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New Class Offering!

Class Title: Beginner and Intermediate Ukulele Workshop

Instructor: Geoff Davis Cost: $60 ($15 week) including materials

Date and Time: Six Wednesdays beginning August 18 and ending September 22, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Judge Stone House – Back Studio, 107 S. 8th Street, Noblesville, Indiana

Registration: Call (317) 565-7132 and leave a message. You will receive a confirmation call.

Class Limit: 6 Students

This class is offered due to public demand. Geoff Davis began the Folk School with Ukulele classes and is thrilled to be able to offer this unique workshop. Students will be informally assessed to determine ability level and playing goals. Geoff will provide materials, practice and instruction to help you achieve these goals. The dynamics of group interaction will assure an ongoing dialog about playing and performing and provide opportunities to safely perform and demonstrate new skills. Each student will enjoy the benefits of private instruction with the joy of playing within a group!

Students will be required to have their own ukulele. For advice about purchasing a new ukulele please contact missjoni@bluestonefolkschool.org. Miss Joni organizes and facilitates the blue Stone Ukulele Society and has experience with many student level ukuleles.

For more information about current Folk School programing read this week’s newsletter.

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With the bumped up programing and the use of the Judge Stone House we’ve renewed our efforts to communicate with our supporter with regular email newsletters.

We’ve added a service to our emails that allows folks to access emails.  We’re still working on the home page for this but individual links are active.

The two emails sent this wek can be found here:

July 30

July 27

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