Monday, September 18, 2006

Before and After

Click the photo to enlarge

It's been a while since I posted anything here. Been very busy. It all started about 32 years ago. That's when my wife decided that she was going to be a montessori teacher and have her own school. Her mother said she intended to have geese and goats in the school too but she seems to have changed her mind, for now. She was six when she first had the idea so you could say she is tenacious. Somehow I think there are goats on the way.

We took a ten year lease on a property in Paris. The first floor of an old warehouse. The lease was agreed about a year ago, long before we had permission to do anything with the property for education and long before we had the bank loan.

Finally when everything was in place and a month and a half before the school was due to open, we began construction. The guys who did the ceiling, wiring and the wall work were great. Seriously impressive. Money was getting tight and I designed and build the furniture. My father was a carpenter and I trained as a miniturist modelmaker before I decided to paint for a living.

Building the furniture saved a lot of expense. Besides that it meant that we could customise it for the schools particular needs. Each unit is on rollers and double sided. So that each has another set of storage units facing the wall. These can be turned around very easily and convert the class into an art room for life drawing and art classes and more importantly protect the montessori equiptment which is stored on the shelves. The life drawing and art classes will be on weekends, Wednesday afternoons and during the school holidays.

We worked weekends and each weekday till late. No breaks. Amelies parents came to help. We couldn't have done it without them. Her mother cooked so that we came home to a hot meal in the evenings and had a picnic during the day and her father did all the varnishing of the wood. That's about 800 planks and shelves.

Amelies montessori school will be for children aged 6-12. The life drawing and art classes are for adults except for on Wednesday afternoons when they are for children.

It's an adventure.