Anthroposophical Foundation Study
The Anthroposophy study portion of the course begins with an overview of the work of Rudolf Steiner, and how it applies to the work we do in the crafts classrooms. The first Core Principle of Waldorf Education adopted by the North American Pedagogical Section, "The Image of the Human" is studied in depth.
We read and discuss the publication; "Credo" by R. Steiner, we look into "Handwork Indications by R. Steiner" by Hedwig Hauck and the threefold soul forces of thinking, feeling and willing as discussed in "Study of Man". We look into the stages of human development from birth through age 21 ("Study of Man"), concentrating in the primary school grades k-5 in module #2, we study and discuss "Our Twelve Senses" by H. Soesman, and "Will Developed Intelligence" by Livingston and Mitchell. There is a study of the nine year change and a brief history of the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart.
Hard Craft Studies:
In this introductory module, the nature of wood is explored. Participants are instructed on how to present their first lessons using wood in its natural form: logs. The use of a large saw, a wedge and a sledge hammer is taught to gain access to the beautiful wood grain hidden inside the log. The senses are engaged in this activity to form a full experience for the students. Lessons are crafted to develop and strengthen the will forces by presenting physical resistance; wood, and to engage the feeling forces with stories of forests and nature. Participants are shown how to engage the thinking forces with demonstrations of carving and crafting techniques. The hand will be engaged in "making" beautiful and useful "things". The students will make wood projects from the grade three "House Building" block by making natural structures for birds, using a simple hand saw and hammer and nails. A woodworking board
along with simple flower and paper presses are built using the handsaw and drill. Grade four curriculum will include carving the upright human form using the wood harvested from the logs. The careful use of the woodcarving knife and carving technique is instructed with an emphasis on "careful". The wood is slowly transformed into a human figure. These figures generally do not have details such as eyes or fingers, but will offer the archetype of the human with a head, torso and four limbs. Once they are all sanded smooth, oil and beeswax is applied to bring out the beauty of the wood. After the human figure is finished, a choice of several animal archetype projects are offered for the participant to choose from. Grade 5 curriculum will continue with carving
Soft Craft Studies:
Each module is configured so that the students learn what the children learn in their specific grades.
In module #1 participants learn to make their own knitting needles. This includes sanding a ¼ inch dowel with rough and fine sand paper. Then beeswax is applied and the needle top is glued on. Then participants learn to knit a small pouch with their own hand made knitting needles. As their second knitting project they knit, stuff and sew a lion or a lamb. They also learn to dye the yarn for these projects using only locally foraged Eucalyptus leaves.
¼ inch dowel, wooden tops, sand paper, beeswax, yarn, needles, wool stuffing
Following the 2nd grade curriculum we will continue to practice and deepen the skills of knitting. Participants learn to knit a rainbow ball. The second project is a teddy bear, which is slightly more complicated. We use bulky yarn and provide the pattern.
Knitting needles, yarn, needles, wool stuffing
We introduce the participants to crochet. They learn how to shape a crochet piece using increase and decrease techniques. They learn about the fibers that their yarn is made from and they learn plant dye techniques. They also learn about spinning fibers into yarn. Participants learn to spin wool into yarn with a drop spindle. The first project we crochet is a small pouch. The second project are potholders. Participants who work quickly can also make their own beach bag.
Yarn, crochet hooks, natural fibers, drop spindle, needles