This week in woodshop class, the 3rd-years were able to finish their first project; Cutting Boards! Even with a less than normal Rural STudio experience, the students utilized this project as an introduction to woodworking. They gained confidence in using woodworking tools. The next two projects will be at an accelerated pace, but now the 3rd-years now have the skills to woodwork with more independence. Here is a look at each 3rd-year’s individual cutting board!
In history, students were able to visit Thornhill, a 19th century home atop a hill with a spectacular view. What makes Thornhill unique from previous tours is the people that inhabit it. The older architectural styles of the house have been maintained by its owners while new additions have been made to complement the existing structures. All of the modern spaces are designed to respect the older ones. It was very interesting for the students to see a successful and modern addition to an older home.
As the semester continues, 3rd-years have split into three different groups: Framing, Enclosures, and Roof. The Framing team is constructing the final wall for the home and planning Ophelia’s porch construction. The Roof team is planning the truss installation process, the purchasing of materials, and what additional construction drawings are needed. The Enclosures team finished cutting and installing the sheathing on the walls and aided the Framing Team in the installation of the final wall.
Third years continued to work diligently in the shop this week as different cutting boards slowly started to come together. They were also able to visit a mid-1800’s house in Demopolis with Dr. Hudgens. At Horseshoe farms this week, 3rd-years were able to put up the frames for the other half of the courtyard after the 5th-years worked to install the footings.
Working in the Rural Studio Wood Shop on cutting boards
This week students worked to put the existing walls up at Ophelia’s Home. Rural Studio also had six helical anchors installed to further stabilize the foundation and 3rd-years were able to witness the process. While wall installation went slowly in order to assure everything remained plumb, students and Mrs. Ophelia were excited to see the home return prior condition. Everyone is looking forward to further progress on the home in the weeks to come!
As the extended neck down schedule begins to subside, 3rd-years are starting to look at a more consistent work schedule. In history, Dr. Hudgens took students to the Gaineswood House which started out as a log cabin and after undergoing several additions by General Whitfield slowly turned into a Jeffersonian Revival style house.
In Shop, students continued working on their cutting boards. Since access to the shop is being limited outside of class time, every minute counts!
With the daily sitework of neckdowns ending, the 3rd-years are transitioning into building Ophelia’s Home. They are preparing presentations about Ophelia’s Home, it’s currrent state, and how they plan to pick up where the 2020 Spring semester 3rd-years left off. They have been visiting Ophelia’s Home to map out their return to the site.
Students continued to work diligently on their cutting boards in Shop and completed another Design Prompt from Dr. Hudgens’ history class. In this Design Prompt, students were tasked with designing a farmhouse as well as necessary outbuildings and seed buildings. The project focused on designing these structures as they would be built in the latter half of the 19th century. In Studio, the 3rd-year students started working on their presentation of Ophelia’s Home.
With the 3rd-year work at Perry Lakes Park complete, all hands were on deck at Horseshoe Courtyard this week. 3rd-years and 5th-years worked to continue to plant trees and surrounded them with slate. Students continued to clean bricks in preparation for the brick pad.
This week at Horseshoe Courtyard, 3rd-years were able to help Claudia and Caleb finish up formwork for the long-awaited concrete pour in the sidewalk and stage area! These will ensure that the concrete path is the exact shape, height, and size that Claudia and Caleb have planned out. Students also worked to set up batter boards to help keep the future placement of trees aligned. Next week, when the Crepe Myrtles will be delivered, strings, pulled taught across the site attached to the batter boards, will tell us exactly where each tree needs to be placed.
Twin puppies from the area decided to come check out what was happening on site. The sweet pups were quickly returned home, but the brief visit was a wonderful way to start the day.
Studio, Shop, and History
During Studio this week, students continued to work on drawing detailed construction documents for 20K Ophelia’s Home. They worked with Emily and Chelsea to learn about wall sections and layers and how to address openings in the building envelope. The 3rd-years have also been continuing to work diligently on their cutting boards for shop class where they are becoming more empowered to used power tools correctly and safely. They were able to visit Folsom Farm with history professor, Dick Hudgens, at the start of the week. At the farm, they saw the many outbuildings farmers used in the early 1800s, and the details necessary for each structure.
Perry Lakes Park
Despite some early ending workdays due to rain last week, 3rd-years returned to Perry Lakes Park this week to continue work on the projects started in the prior week. While there are a few more projects at Perry Lakes Park to be completed, the walkways to the Birding Tower and the tower itself were the main subject of repair.