Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Husbands Danish Apprentice

One day back in April, my husband, Tom, came into my studio with a befuddled look on his face.
He said that a girl in Copenhagen just contacted him asking if she could be his apprentice. She was by trade, a furniture maker but wanted to learn the art of automata, which my husband excels at.
My response was probably something like, "What the flip?"
Paula Joerling Studio
In the studio with Tom and Laura's final creation. 
Tom and Laura (the apprentice) emailed back and forth with the details. Originally she wanted to have a three month apprenticeship but Tom was sure he could teach her everything he knew in a week. They settled on a one month stay. We decided that she could stay with us with the provision that if it wasn't working out for either party other arrangements would be made. 
While we pretty much have a revolving door of house guests, a whole month with someone we never met seemed outrageous. After all, it's always just been Tom and I.
After having her here for two weeks, we wished it was for three months. 
She was AWESOME and we adored her.  
Paula Joerling Studio
Making Danish sandwich's and Tom is delighted.
Upon hearing the news, friends and family had a variety of reactions, the most common being " What? A perfect stranger in your house? What if she's a killer?"
She wasn't, as a matter of fact, she is a vegetarian and a darn good cook as it turned out. 
She made dinner for us on several different occasions. I got into the habit of taking photos of her dinner creations and posting them to Facebook. This led to much confusion and to several people asking why I had a kitchen apprentice and where could they get one. 

She made delicious Danish style sandwiches, vegetables roasted with dark beer, pasta and garlic bread. We, in turn exposed her to southern treats like moon pies, key lime pie, turnip greens and banana pudding. She even tried a raw oyster for the first time. 
It was a match made in heaven and we still marvel at how seamlessly she slipped into our lives.
In Savannah and Laura's first raw oyster.
Although we did a lot of sightseeing and took a side trip to Savannah she did learn quite a bit and managed to complete a fully operational piece. 
At the start of her third week, I had to leave to lead a workshop in Florida. When I returned she was well on her way to her next apprenticeship in with  Kazuaki Harada in Japan.
Leaving for Japan.
We enjoyed every minute of the time she spent with us and are so glad that we decided to open our home and our lives to her. It was a great experience from beginning to end. 
I think it goes without saying that we're saving our pennies for a trip to Copenhagen .......

In Japan.


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