It has been three weeks since we were joined by friends and family where we celebrated a decade of craft education for the aspiring amateur at IPSFC. I must say, that I was overwhelmed at the response, with several students from each of the first ten years of the school, including students from the northern Canada, the eastern seaboard, southern California, and everywhere in between. Eupho, a two year graduate of the program, joined us all the way from Japan for the weekend. It was so good to reconnect with so many old friends, including a few we have lost touch with over the years. And yes, I did say the first ten years.
Leading up to the exhibition, we were informed the the complex where the school has been located since its inception, is up for sale. While we have a lease that will withstand a change in ownership. It was this, combined with my desire to return to my own work, had me thinking that perhaps it was time to step aside, and let someone else take the reins for a while. As I stood before a packed house at the exhibition, I suggested that in another ten years, I hoped that it would be Caroline, and not me standing at the front of the room.
The truth is I love teaching, and while it has become, and cherished part of my life, I have felt something missing in my life for some time. After returning from our five day retreat, I returned to my shop with a new found energy, perhaps even passion and realized that the time has come. We have been preparing the school for this for a while now. Caroline has been with us for three years, and has been assisting with our program for the past year. Later this fall she will be easing into a teaching role at the school. Each afternoon following my afternoon lecture, she will assist students in there work, and in time allow me to return to my little shop each afternoon to rekindle my passion for the craft.
If I have learned anything in the last ten years, life is about finding a balance that works for you. Each year at the beginning and the end of the program, I make reference to the John Brown quote, “I live in a beautiful place, I work at something I love, I make enough money to live and my demands on the worlds resources are very meagre.” I have always felt that these are words to live by, and as a teacher they have always embraced my hopes, for all the who have passed through our doors. While there are many moments that will stand out for me from the weekend, I will always cherish a late night conversation I had with Don Stenner. He made reference to the quote and suggested that he was doing just that. I thought to myself, this is the greatest gift a teacher can ever receive.
Yvonne and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who joined us for the celebration, and those who joined us in spirit. I remind you that this school not only exists for you but because of you. In the past ten years, you have shaped the school and our lives, and we are so very grateful for the memories.
with peace & love,