LAURENS COTTEN
WOOD ARTIST

"What does a guy who doesn't want to teach do with a degree in Education? I sure didn't know... until several years after graduating I enrolled in a furniture-making community ed class at UAB.

"In retrospect I wouldn't say I'm proud of the outcome, but I did design and make a coffee table and two end tables during that class.

"At the time I was working inside sales in an
industrial setting, spending 40 hours a week on the
phone in a room the size of a closet. For someone who abhors confinement, it was not a dream job.

"While taking a furniture making class, I learned that UAB was offering an Industrial Arts Education.  Thus my career began.  Before long, I had a large shop filled with really cool equipment like band saws, iron benders, printing press, and a lathe.

"In 2012 I retired after 30 years as a successful shop teacher. I say successful with confidence because during all those years, not one child lost a finger. Plus, occasionally I run into former students (ranging in age from 20-45) who tell me they still have the birdhouse, the footstool, the table, etc., they made in my class.
"During my last year as a teacher, I was lucky enough to fulfill a long held dream: to build a workshop (AKA the dog house) just a few steps from my back door. Finally I'm able to explore my creativity and my abilities to their fullest."


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