The workshops are scheduled as either one, two, or three days long, depending on what is being offered. Starting at about 8 am, you back your vehicle down the driveway, and Bill and Kim and the other 3 or 4 students are there to welcome you and help unpack your upholstery pieces and supplies. They are brought into the back section of the building. Spacious and roomy, you place your piece on the elevated workhorses set up at individual stations for each student.
We then meet in the front section of the studio at the breakfast table, where you are introduced to the other students and spend a few minutes getting to know one another. It is lots of fun meeting with other upholstery enthusiasts, and you might be surprised how much, besides upholstery, you may have in common. We open up a little about where we live, what we may do for work, and how we got into upholstery. After a cup of coffee, and some snacks, we go into the workroom, and you literally jump in! You are learning actual skills from the very first minute.
Although the students may be at different levels of learning, Kim and Bill are available, right beside you, explaining each step in detail, and guiding you along the way. So, where a brand newbie may be learning how to web a chair, the student at the next station may be learning to pad his chair, and the student across may be learning how to make and place buttons. The greatest part of the workshop is that the teaching is individualized, and each student moves comfortably at his or her pace, learning skills at various levels.
The other students are very supportive of one another, cheerleading along the way, as the pieces move closer to completion.
Around noonish, we break for lunch (although you can keep drinks and snacks in the kitchen all day for any time you need a rest). Depending on the weather, and how the group is feeling, we either walk to a small Italian pizzeria across the street, or sometimes will order in. Lunch is a fun time. I find it interesting to chat with students from all over the country. I have met students from North Dakota, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maine, and each student contributes to the positive energy in the workshop.
After lunch, its back to work. Several more hours of building up our chairs. Although students are mostly quietly working, there is room for some laughter as we find humor learning from our mistakes. Throughout the day, Kim is right by your side, showing you what needs to be done next, and answering any questions. Before you know it, you look up at the clock, and it is 5 o’clock. As we wind down, we clean up and talk about the what we will be working on the next day.
Usually, at least one of the evenings, we meet up at one of the local restaurants to relax a bit and wind down. Trust me, by 8 o’clock, we are all very tired from the day and are looking forward to returning to our hotels to rest. But no worries, the fun will resume tomorrow. And so, the next day begins.
The best part of all? There is a great feeling of accomplishment on your way home from the workshop. You will leave with so much knowledges, tips and tricks, and a fantastic supportive network. Your completed (or nearly completed) piece will return home with you, and can be a reminder of what you have learned, and how far you have come.
How can you generally prepare for one of these workshops? (Next time I will discuss preparing for one of the workshops in detail).
Unless you live within an hour of Kim’s Upholstery, it would be worth considering staying in one of the nearby hotels or bed and breakfasts. As I mentioned, the days are long, and you will probably be quite tired as the evenings grown near. Kim has a list of some nice places to stay. My best advice is get a good night’s sleep and eat a decent breakfast. The days are long, but go by very fast, and you will need the rest and nourishment.
So, jump in!
I welcome your questions and comments!
Have a wonderful week,