Eric Anderson – Director/Teacher
My father was an Industrial Arts teacher until he retired. In an Industrial Arts class, commonly known as “shop,” middle and high school students learned woodworking, metalworking, and other fine arts by planning and building their own projects. As a middle school student in the late 70’s I was fortunate enough to take shop classes. Also, my dad’s basement workshop was a builders playground where I spent hours making my creative ideas real. In high school we acquired a Commodore 64 computer which became yet another tool to build an infinite possibility of creations of a different variety. These outlets were springboards inspiring me to pursue a degree in engineering and a successful career in engineering and technology. In hindsight, my hands-on learning and the opportunity to tinker was way more valuable than having a way to spend my time. Using my hands to build tangible things was an opportunity to hone thousands of intangible skills that I would never have learned in a classroom. Each project was a collection of tiny experiments, some of which failed, and some that worked. With each experiment and each project, I grew more knowledgeable, more capable, more confident, and more creative. As an engineer and technologist the projects I tackle are more complex and more technical, but the underlying concept remains the same. When I roll up my sleeves, dig in, and get excited, the unknowns fall into place. Completing projects pales in comparison to the satisfaction of figuring them out and making them happen. I created Discovery Factory to provide others with the creative outlets I was fortunate enough to have as a kid, with a few important additions. Shop classes alone are enough for some, but technology and the creative environment has changed dramatically since my Dad taught school. As an engineer in industry I understand the importance of an awareness of the latest technology, I have seen the profound value of working together as a collaborative team with the same objectives, and I have been inspired by the trend toward “open source” design to share ideas and collaborate around the globe. I wanted to create a place that offers the traditional hands-on values that my Dad taught, but also allows people access to new technologies and trends. Discovery Factory is that place.
Chantal Haskell – Teacher
Music and art are an integral part of my life. I am a trained professional violinist and music instructor. I teach high school orchestra and chorus classes and give private music lessons. I compose music and paint to express myself. But the value of my own creativity far exceeds the resulting composition or painting. As a student of the arts I have developed invaluable life skills which come directly from applying creativity to solve problems. I believe craftsmanship, like music, teaches life skills by promoting the value of sustained effort, self confidence, teamwork, and pushing through self defeating fears. I also believe in the value of minimizing our personal footprint on our environment. By combining my passion for art, craftsmanship, and sustainability, I teach students to reuse ordinary materials, which would otherwise be disposed of, to create items, that are not only functional and beautiful, but creative expressions of the person who makes them.