Collaborative Learning through Upholstery

Upholstery students with their chair project before class begins

Students model their ‘BEFORE’ chairs as upholstery class begins

You can Live your Dreams (really!)

“The connection economy thrives on abundance. Connections create more connections. Trust creates more trust. Ideas create more ideas.” – Seth Godin

I’ve been following Seth Godin for several years now. If you haven’t heard of him, a good place to start is his blog. He’s written lots of books – about the post-industrial revolution, how ideas spread, refreshing  perspectives on marketing and being human, and most of all…

… Changing everything.

I recently discovered his manifesto (Stop Stealing Dreams – free for anyone to read on Medium), about an education system, built in the industrial age, that’s become outdated in the age of the internet.

As a teacher, I found his views inspiring, reinforcing a belief that I’ve always held – that EVERYONE is creative. I agree with his opinion that it’s most often our schooling and imposed expectations about how life is supposed to look that eventually quashes that childhood belief that the luckiest of us get to bask in (at least for a little while), that “I can DO anything! I can BE anything!”.

As a student who’s had traditional schooling – from kindergarten through college – and ultimately rejected the mold that I thought I was supposed to fit into, I am both relieved and excited. I’m relieved to realize that none of it was a waste of time or effort, because it’s all just integrated into the ‘me’ that becomes shareable.

Experience is golden.

I’m excited by the idea that I really can DO and BE that person who can contribute to the movement that is changing everything. I’m in it to ‘create an environment where willing, caring individuals can find an experience that changes them.’ (Seth’s words)

Principles that all learning modes should incorporate.

I’m pondering an alternative learning course that Seth Godin created, which is based on these principles:

  • People are ENROLLED – they are there because they want to be.
  • EXPERIENCES are at the heart of change.
  • PEER TO PEER LEARNING fosters accountability.

…and I realized that all of these apply to upholstery classes!

It’s a collective learning experience

In upholstery class, you learn by doing your own thing, but you also learn from other’s challenges and triumphs. We’re accountable to each other as well as ourselves, offering insights and stories that enrich the experience for all. I love that there’s inevitably some change we seek for ourselves when we decide to transform a furniture ‘project’, that there’s also an underlying story – a history – that remains with the piece and is carried forward. Like the layers of padding and fabric of upholstery, there are layers of understanding. By doing, we are changed.

Upholstery student works on her button-tufted ottoman

Christine works the button tufting on her ottoman

Join the movement – Take a class.

You can read about my classes here. If you have a class in your area to recommend, please, please share it in the comments below – I’m building a resource for ‘Where to Learn Upholstery’ – around the globe! Thanks for visiting – if you’re inspired to explore more about upholstery, be sure to subscribe to the mailing list.

By | 2017-09-11T14:41:43+00:00 September 5th, 2017|diy upholstery, green home|2 Comments

About the Author:

Making - Learning - Sharing. These are actions I find essential to a happy life! I'd love to hear from you - what are you creating in your life right now? How can I help?

2 Comments

  1. Crystal December 19, 2017 at 12:11 am

    Hi Carla! I take upholstery classes at Upholstery on Broadway in Arlington, MA. Kevin Kennedy is a wonderful teacher and was just named the best of in Boston Magazine! I think it is so great that you are creating a directory for upholstery classes. Crystal in Massachusetts and Artisan, Owner of Seat Gallery

  2. Carla Pyle December 22, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Hi Crystal,
    Thanks for sharing your ‘Best of Boston’ upholstery teacher, Kevin Kennedy! I found the Boston Voyager article about him – he sounds like a truly compassionate human being with a sense of humor! My husband’s sister lives in Arlington, so next time we’re in the neighborhood, I’ll be sure to drop in and pay him a visit. So cool what you are doing with Seat Gallery as well – I look forward to seeing your work when you get it posted!

    Keep on creating!
    Carla

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