FREE SHIPPING FOR USA ORDERS OVER $150 – applied automatically at checkout.

My First Woodwork Class with Jack Bryant

Waldorf School of Orange County, Costa Mesa, California.

Our Waldorf School has a very cool woodwork teacher. Look at him playing his handmade electric guitar!

In October 2022, Jack Bryant offered to teach  woodwork class to 12 students. I jumped at the opportunity and signed up immediately.

Related links:

Please scroll down beyond the Menu to see photos of woodwork class


Return to the Menu above

Week 1

Jack suggested we watched these videos to get started with our woodwork class:

Wednesday night, October 5, 2022.

Close-toes shoes, checked. Apron and face mask, I donned not. I entered the woodwork studio with fascination.

I took a look around this marvelous woodwork shop…

Hello unfamiliar tools. I like to get to know you well one day!

We had the freedom to choose what to make in this course. I looked around for ideas… A dollhouse?

Perhaps I could make figurines or dolls?

So that’s how they remove wood to make figurines…

No. I wanted to make something big!

A doll house – that is something big.



This little doll house reminded me that I wanted to know how to work with curves. To make organic shapes in hard, wooden material.

Ah! A pile of treasures!

I wanted to make a gnome house out of a tree stump.

I worried the beautiful bark may fall off as I work with this stump.

How about this one. Hmmm… no.

A boat for my handmade sailor and pirate dolls?

Their present sea-faring dinghy is made of wool felt…

Perhaps gauge out a boat? No. This red wood is pricey and hard.

Others have started to settle down and begin work. But my mind is blank.

Week 1 has passed. I went home without an idea of what I wanted to make. The possibilities are endless!

Return to the Menu above

Week 2

Wednesday night. October 12, 2022

What to make for this toymaking class?

I considered making a tiny crib for a little baby doll, or a boat for doll pirates, or something larger – perhaps a small toy cabinet or a manger for a nativity scene. I day-dreamed and made sketches…

I wanted to work with organic form, curves. I wanted to know how to make roof on a curved structure. I have chosen my project: A cavernous structure with interior – a mermaid’s cave or nativity manger for baby Jesus.

I used pine from Home Depot.

I drew the designs onto the wood.

I clamped the wood, then cut out the pieces with a hand-held saw.

Jack helped me cut out the curves with a jigsaw. I think that is what the power tool is called. Don’t quote me on it. This is my first woodworking class ever.

Return to the Menu above

Week 3

Wednesday night. October 19, 2022

I am contemplating the tools of woodwork. I did not use this saw.

Jack made some stars samples for our Elves Workshop 2022. Click here to see our event.

Return to the Menu above

Week 4

Wednesday night. October 19, 2022

I am rasping the manger. The rasp is like a big cheese grater, for wood.

It is so satisfying to see the resulting curved surface.

I am taking a peek at David. He is making a fine, beautiful multi-colored surf board using different wood as a gift for his son!

I love the rasp – that black tool on the right, in the photo below. With the rasp, I could make nice curves on my wooden boards. There was so much wood dust in class that day from all that rasping!

This below was when I had not discovered the wonders of table top clamp/vice. I was rasping the piece by holding it, wobbly, in my hands.

I am taking a peek at what Ipek was doing. She was gauging a large salad spoon.

Ipek taught me to clamp my pieces onto the table vice. Oooooh … Both my hands are now free to rasp and sand! Thank you!

It makes me happy to see crafting supplies – ah! The possibilities!

Return to the Menu above

Week 5

Wednesday night. November 2, 2022

Jack shared a book he likes with us.

Jack helped me cut out a shorn sheep pattern on his band saw to make a sheep yarn spool for Elves Workshop 2022.

My son and I took turns sanding the slats that would become the roof of the manger. This process yielded much wood dust, so we performed it outdoors. We had to be gentle with the large rasp as it could crack the thin slats. After rasping, we sanded with medium-, then fine- grain sand paper.

The large rasp is my favorite tool. I can turn sharp edges into buttery curves.

Return to the Menu above


Week 6

Wednesday night. November 9, 2022

I am satisfied with the smoothness of the sanding. Today, I will nail in the roof slats! Jack suggested I use a pencil as spacer between the slats.

I brought in my handmade dolls to confirm the sizing of the manger.

The side manger low wall is a good height for the sailor. The roof must have clearance to see the head of the doll when standing here.

 Finally, I am bringing out the nails and hammer!

Bam! with the first few hammering, I broke the front wall of the manger! Yikes! My nail protruded diagonally out of the piece, breaking it.

After swimming in the river denial for a week, I glued in the broken wood.

I used this green bottle of wood glue in the crack.

Next, I clamped (yellow, below) the cracked area tight.

I set in the nails. That was a meditative and enjoyable process.

Packing up for the night.

Return to the Menu above

Week 7

Wednesday night. November 16, 2022

The crack had sealed from a week of gluing and clamping! Joy!

Using a piece of scrap wood, I applied wood filler onto the nailed sites.

Ops! I applied way too much wood filler than I needed. I had to sand the excess off.

Excess wood filler sanded off (below).

I took the manger outdoors and sprayed some orange oil on it.

When oiled, the pine looks beautifully darker.

The end of class has come. I put away my oiled manger (right) to dry. Zerrin’s beautiful doll house is on the left. We would take a two week break hence due to Thanksgiving break next week.

Return to the Menu above

Week 8

What we made at the end of 8 weeks

Wednesday night. November 30, 2022

Mark’s Project

He made a doll house for his daughter!

What a lucky child, playing with beautiful doll house handmade for her by her own father!

Return to the Menu above

Robert’s Project

Robert built an electric guitar for his 4th grader guitarist daughter! So cool!

The finished piece! Rock and Roll!

He got a cat painted on it for his daughter who loves cats!

Christmas present for his daughter 2022

Robert also made and donated 20 wooden birdhouses to our Elves Workshop 2022! Thank you!

Return to the Menu above

David’s Projects

David made a beautiful small wooden surfboard for his son.

Here he had finished that project and moved onto making a treasure chest.


David’s Projects: Christmas 2022

Handmade Christmas gifts!

Oh! I learned that leather straps could be used as beautiful hinges! – Jzin


Return to the Menu above

Ipek’s Project

Ipek and I often worked on the same bench. She made a wooden spatula, seen here behind my project, the manger.

I only managed to get this side photo of her spatula in progress mid-course (right, behind my project, below).

Return to the Menu above

Zerrin’s Project

She made a dollhouse for her son!

By watching her work, I learned that leather straps could be used as hinges for doll house doors!

Return to the Menu above

Jzin’s Project

November 30, 2022.  My wooden manger was complete. I was beaming with joy like a child.

This was the last day of class. I was busy and was able to come in only in the last 20 minutes.

I have been busy needle-felting the holy family to add to this manger.

That shepherd on the left (above photo) was actually Neptune.

Return to the Menu above

I sold my first woodwork creation! YAY!

December 9-10, 2022. I had a handmade sale at school.

You can also see more photos of my Castle of Costa Mesa 2022 Christmas Handmade Sale here.

I priced my nativity with manger a little high because it was special to me, being my first woodwork project. I would not mind if it did not sell.

Lo and behold! Wow! I sold my manger for $200! With the whole nativity (dolls included) set, the price was higher than that. Happy dance!

Some gifts for Jack. I gave our beloved teacher a 100% wool finger-warmer gnome. He also picked a Thumbelina Fairy Tale wool picture.

Thank you Mr. Jack Bryant for your woodworking class! That was a lot of fun! – Jzin

Return to the Menu above

Jack’s Upcoming Course

Waldorf Practical Arts Training

Return to the Menu above

Related Links