My oldest son is getting ready to “graduate” from the school he has attended for the last ten years. This will take place in 2 more weeks. There are plenty of finishing up tasks he must do before he gets ready to journey in a new direction.
His 8th grade project and presentation was a wonderful night, and culminated a year of independent study work. He brought home a pair of pajama pants, made in handwork this year, and he wears them every night. He is finishing main lesson books, and this past week finalized a spanish project, which included taking in food for the class: Alfajores with a dulce de leche filling, made by us last weekend.
But of all the things he has accomplished, I think this is the most lovely:
This is his final practical arts project of the year.
It is made of maple.
It is completely done by hand. The top is so smoothly sanded , it feels like glass. It is amazing. The legs he planed with a hand plane, until each was 16 sided. Then he sanded them round. It has been oiled only, no stain. It is very lovely.
Can you see how the legs are joined to the bench? A beautiful detail, again, all done by hand. And our feet in the picture may give you and idea of how large the bench is. 3 of us can sit on it easily. If we dared.
The students begin this work in sixth grade. They make a spoon and an egg. In 7th grade, they begin to carve. They each made a sign for the campus first…my son made the sign for the third grade class I believe. Then they carved one for themselves.. he did a lovely job with our last name in a fancy font. In 8th grade they finish these, and if they have time, they make a bench.
The wood came from us. He took it in rough and ugly. It has returned an object of great beauty. I nearly cried when I saw it. To be able to make something so beautiful when you are only 14. But I suspect I will cry more when he leaves home and takes it with him. By then, it will be a treasured piece of family history.