Fall Fair Wrap-up (Warning – Cute Woodworking Projects Ahead)

A wooden crocodile up for sale

A wooden crocodile up for sale

Our one-day fall extravaganza was very successful. The school was packed with guests who climbed up and down our townhouse stairs visiting classroom after classroom which were converted into magical vignettes — from a medieval forest to a crystal filled cave. And, of course, our guests paid a visit to our basement woodshop.

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Woodcraft for sale at Rudolf Steiner School Fall fair

Wood craft for sale at Rudolf Steiner School Fall fair

Wooden shieldes for sale at Rudolf Steiner School Fall fair

Wooden shields for sale at Rudolf Steiner School Fall fair

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One of the attractions that drew kids and parents to our woodshop was the log-sawing contest. Kids worked in pairs, or with one of their parents, to saw branches into segments that could be used as trivets or coasters. We made sure two adults were supervising the sawing, and only 3rd graders and up could participate. We kept a time sheet that noted how long it took each pair to saw through the logs. The fastest pairs managed to finish sawing in just under 17 seconds. Some kids got so exited that they asked for another round of sawing, sacrificing more fair tickets that could have surely be used for buying maple syrup cotton candy. Who knew that sawing logs could be so popular!


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Our log sawing contest

Our log sawing contest

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While the young kids were standing in line for the log sawing fun, I and a few 10th graders, who volunteered for the job, demonstrated wood carving and box making.

One of our 10th graders demonstrate carving a wooden bowl. In this image he rasp the bowl exterior.

One of our 10th graders demonstrates carving a wooden bowl. In this image, he’s using a rasp to clean up a bowl’s exterior.

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At the same time, on the other side of the room, guests were fascinated by the woodwork that our parents created for the sale.

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Wooden animals carved by our students' parents for the Rudolf Steiner School Fall fair

Wooden animals carved by our students’ parents for the Rudolf Steiner School Fall fair

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Some sheeps and terrier..

Some sheep and a terrier

DSCN2761 Wooden Swords at Rudolf Steiner School Fall fair

It was hard to say goodbye to our animals, swords and shields that we hand-crafted, but the proceeds will help us continue to run the school and make more beautiful objects for next year’s fair.

I hope that our fall fair will inspire some of you to initiate a woodworking-related event in your local school, or the school that your children or grandchildren attend. Most schools have some kind of fundraising events where baked goods or other objects are offered for sale, children put up a performance, and parents contribute donations for raffle events. If your school has a woodshop,  organize a parents’ workshop to build toys and other objects toward the fundraising. Even if your school doesn’t have a shop, you can offer the log-sawing contest and put up a booth to demonstrate some woodworking activities and to sell items donated by woodworkers from your community. It’s a great way to spread the word about our craft, and perhaps spark interest among teachers and parents that might lead to some future woodworking activity in the school!

Asher and a wooden sword

My son, Asher, and a wooden sword

— Yoav Liberman

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Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.