Arrived last night and found the other turners already here: Siegfried Schreiber, Jean-François Delorme, and Sean Ohrenich. It turns out that Peter Oliver will not able to join us this year. The furniture maker, Peter Harrison, will join us for two and a half weeks at the end of June. In July, the scholar, Elisabeth Agro, will join us for a week, along with a dancer (!), Lesya Popil.
We are staying in a dormitory at the University of the Arts (where the woodshop is). We each have our own suite, and there’s a common room as well. The four of us (Siegfried, Jean-François, Sean, and I) got together there last night to share a simple rustic meal of bread and apples and some leftovers.
Language is only a small barrier as we get to know each other. Neither Sean nor I speak French or German, so we depend on Jean-François and Siegfried to carry the ball in English—which they are managing quite well. We haven’t hit an impasse yet; communication eventually happens even if the means is sometimes less than direct. And language is proving no barrier to humor.
We visited the woodshop today and got the full tour from Jane Swanson, the shop supervisor. We will each have a lathe (three Oneways and a Stubby), and we’re moving one from the front room of the woodshop to the back room so that we will all be together. We’re all eager to start but will have to wait until Monday, when the final lathe is pulled from storage and we’ll have all the tools and miscellany from the Wood Turning Center’s stores.
It appears to be a convivial group. We all seem ready to learn from and play with each other; “collaboration” is on everyone’s lips. We all found one incident particularly symbolic: we each were given a padlock to secure our belongings at the woodshop, but it turns out that each of our keys opens all of the padlocks. We will be sharing, indeed.
We have the day off tomorrow, but there is talk of visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On Sunday, we will meet with some students and teachers at the Wood Turning Center and then have our “official” orientation meeting. I’ll keep you posted.