Seven Days - Five Rockers - Five Dreams

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Project by Charles Brock posted 08-16-2010 03:43 PM 3298 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

August 3-9, I taught a class of five hopeful craftsman the art of building a Maloof Inspired Rocker. It is so exciting to see their initial enthusiasm and to see them start to believe that this project that they have wanted to do for so long is coming alive through the diligence of their hands, work and effort. As each student sees first that they can sculpt the 7 spindles and cooper a seat into an inviting “smile” they blossom into becoming the chairmaker that registering for the class promised. Each will take their rocker to their home shop and finish sculpting, sanding and finishing. Of course I am always on call to help. See slide show!

Woodworking is about wood, tools, design, methods and sometimes making a living, but it is really about people and their dreams. The picture of five guys and five rockers at the end of their seventh day doesn’t tell the whole story. Everyone brought something different to the class. One man traveled 3000 miles to build a rocker for their daughter who is having their first grandchild in October. He was a shop teacher and retired educator who just drank up the opportunity. A very bright financial planner of 30 was preparing a rocker for their first child in December. Can you imagine gaining these skills at such a young age. I hate to quote the late sports announcer Curt Gowdy who would laughably say, “Well his future is ahead of him!” An electrical engineer listened intently and worked flawlessly without an awful lot of experience. A contractor from South Carolina always wanted to build a rocker like that and worked at each task in the hope they would somehow come together. Another engineer was just into all things woodworking and absorbed every detail. When the seats, joinery, legs, arms, spindles, headrest and laminated skids came together on the last day I could see and hear their pride of accomplishment.

In the process they experienced a lot of woodworking. Some learned rudimentary best practices like how to mark out and how to use a jointer. All searched for and found out how to sculpt a line as a transition between two adjacent surfaces, fit joints in curved parts and find square reference points with which to work. I knew that they would no longer approach their woodworking the same.

I love to work with each student and to help them see their dream coming together. Long after my name disappears from the conversation each of them will be a hero to their family, friends and community because they built this great rocker.

Helping them achieve their dream is what mine is all about! It doesn’t get much better than this!

-- Charles Brock

12 comments so far

View Grant Libramento's profile

Grant Libramento

176 posts in 3585 days

#1 posted 08-16-2010 03:57 PM

Congratulations to the happy chairmakers in another successful class.

-- Grant, Tryon, NC

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4429 days

#2 posted 08-16-2010 04:22 PM

Some people see a rocker, but you my friend saw a journey of dreams and life long memories and should be brimming with pride for the service you have provided these aspirating craftsmen. Great post and thanks for sharing…BC

View chewbuddy13's profile


150 posts in 3891 days

#3 posted 08-16-2010 05:00 PM

Very nice work. I have always learned from doing better than reading or watching, and I think your 5 students would agree. I find it humorous that you think that 30 is a “young age”, I made my first rocker this year at 32, and I wish I would have done it years ago!

View sras's profile


5288 posts in 3735 days

#4 posted 08-16-2010 05:03 PM

Lots of happy faces! Looks like everyone has a right to be proud (including you).

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Ken90712's profile


17819 posts in 3795 days

#5 posted 08-16-2010 05:18 PM

Great story and what a great way to spend a week! Perfect!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 3816 days

#6 posted 08-16-2010 06:11 PM

Very cool guys.

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4200 days

#7 posted 08-16-2010 06:43 PM

Awesome, wish I could take the class, something I’ve allways wanted to learn…

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View DocK16's profile


1186 posts in 4693 days

#8 posted 08-17-2010 12:45 AM

Bucket List!

View a1Jim's profile


117908 posts in 4183 days

#9 posted 08-17-2010 05:07 AM

View mafe's profile


12305 posts in 3695 days

#10 posted 08-17-2010 02:39 PM

Congratulations on the chairs, it looks like a wonderful class, and to come home with a rocker, it must be something.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View tlstc's profile


29 posts in 3567 days

#11 posted 08-20-2010 06:45 PM

OH MY!!! Do not think the girl half of this could do it in 7 days. A definite bucket list entry…..

View Casey Jones's profile

Casey Jones

13 posts in 3048 days

#12 posted 09-18-2011 05:17 PM

Chuck, finally finished my chair and will post photos later (and will email to you). It was most definitely a very long and laborious process, but I couldn’t be more pleased with the end result and it was a true delight to work on each weekend. Baby Elsa loves the chair. Thanks for your instruction and guidance throughout.

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