From my time at Vantaa Vocational College I can see why Finland has one of the best education systems in the world. Teaching both youths and adults, students have the chance to graduate with one of more than twenty qualifications. From cheffing to hairdressing, electrical engineering, brick laying to aircraft maintenance. Education is free in Finland and lunch is free also... www.varia.fi
This week I was lucky to be in the woodwork department under the guidance of Zeppo, the carpentry teacher. Talking to his students I learned he is highly respected and the woodwork department is very well equipped with all the tools and machines you would need. They also supply the wood. There are some interesting and exciting projects at this fantastic school.
Zeppo told me I could make something during my stay and it was an exciting project. Initially I was nervous and a little unsure what was expected of me, and not knowing the language I was out of my comfort zone a little. The students were also a great help, and I am grateful to everyone for their guidance. Some of the conversations were lost in translation as I don't think that they have heard many Scottish accents before!
A Japanese influenced table lamp was my project of choice. I used burnt ash with a wood veneer for a light shade, five ply/layers. These consisted of three wood and two plastic layers. I used some high tech machinery in the construction of the lamp, whilst also utilising some old Japanese pull saws and extra hard Japanese chisels and other interesting techniques I had not seen before. Overall I learned a lot through the course of making the piece.
The methods I learned at Varia will serve me well going forward. I am delighted with the end product especially the difference in colour between the dark ash and light coloured shade, they really contrast and make for an interesting lamp.
Thank you very much Varia and respect to Zeppo.
Art & Animation 2017/18
Map of Helsinki