Crafts From The Heart

By Matthew Miramontes – 11th Grade, Cornell High School

Apprenticeship in Woodworking shows kids in high school a way to learn more about how to use tools, and also more about what goes into making projects that will be around for generations. Many of the projects created are to be used for free, which allows anyone to appreciate the hard work and dedication that went into them.

The classes were small, but that made the projects quick and easier to teach. There were only two students in to the class out of the seven that signed up, which is surprisingly low for an arts class in downtown Pittsburgh. I was actually surprised by the projects made by the students. Pens, bowls, cutting boards, and free public libraries were created in a way to improve schools but also improve the community, as most of the projects will be donated for the public to enjoy. A free public library is a cabinet that is designed like a diorama that gives free books to children around the surrounding area. Kids can get enjoyment from the set pieces before even selecting a book out of the library.


Projects just like these will be on display at the end of the class in the Contemporary Arts Building. Bowls, Pens, and Cutting Boards are all part of the beginning days of the class.

Projects will be displayed at the end of the week inside the Contemporary Craft building in Pittsburgh, which allows students to give some background on why they made the project and how it is unique to them. The public libraries will be available in surrounding community centers and businesses that have a more kid friendly setting. I love the idea of this and can imagine kids running to see what books are going to be available at the different locations around town.


‘Mario’ a student in the class works on taking apart one of the cabinets that will be used for a public library, a process that requires a steady hand and creative abilities.

A student Mario Zbel is all about woodworking and actually gave me an in depth idea about how he feels with the class. “I helped build a library in the past which was around three to four years ago and since then I realized what I wanted to do for a career and for the rest of my life. I work at Shaler High School in their woodworking program and I also signed up for several classes outside of school just like this one. Carpentry is just a way of life for me and I love working toward that proud moment you get after putting hard work into a project and seeing it look perfect.”

Woodworking actually involves more planning and thought than I previously thought. The class also involves helping others learn and understand just as much as growing on your own personal skills too, woodworking is more about how to be a community player rather than just focusing on improving yourself. The community improves as a whole, and that’s a nice addition for the city of Pittsburgh.


Matthew Miramontes 1Matthew Ryan Miramontes is an 11th grader in Cornell High School.  He resides in Neville Island.  Matthew writes for his school newspaper and wants to write as a journalist for a major magazine one day.  He is interested in music and movies.

Leave a Comment

Posting your comment...

Subscribe to these comments via email