Instructor Erin Moren with student Kent Huelman
Instructor Erin Moren with student Kent Huelman

Instructors: Erin Moren ’07 and Nate Moren ’08
Class: Building Contemporary Furniture in Wood

What do you find rewarding about teaching adult Continuing Education students? 

We love getting to know our students and working with them to bring their ideas to life.  It’s so rewarding to teach people new things and see when they “get it.”  We’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with new ideas, materials, and techniques with our students—often learning as much from them as they do from us.

"Don’t be afraid of a challenge, make the work!" 

What is your favorite moment or experience while teaching? 

After so much working, building, and learning, it’s incredible when a student's project finally comes together and becomes the functional object they worked so hard on. One student was adamant about making a chair—she worked so hard on unique joinery and facing her initial fear of using the table saw—and during the last class she got to sit in her chair and finally feel and see her hard work come together. That’s always the best part!

Nate Moren with a furniture student

Nate Moren with a furniture student

What is the biggest fear people have when they enter the classroom for the first time?

The biggest fear is definitely the tools. It’s intimidating and scary to enter a shop with so much machinery, but we work hard to teach rules and the proper use of tools, and we stress the importance of asking for help and facing fears in a safe environment.

What is the learning environment like at MCAD?    

MCAD provides an exceptionally awesome, supportive, helpful, creative learning environment. The 3D Shop staff are fantastic makers and teachers, providing support to students during and outside of our class time. In our class, we value collaboration and communication and work to facilitate a fun learning environment where students can learn from each other and try new things.

If you could condense your experience and knowledge into onto tip for aspiring artists, what would it be? 

Don’t be afraid of a challenge, make the work! 

Continuing education student Huelman

Student: Kent Huelman
Class: Building Contemporary Furniture in Wood

What is your day job?

I am a senior educator at the Center for Professional Development at ITT Technical Institute. I teach classes on network administration and IT security. I hold instructor certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and Citrix. I primarily teach five-day classes ranging from beginning to advanced topics.

"Getting together with people with the same goals is a great way to learn." 

What is the most rewarding aspect of taking classes at MCAD? 

The chance to hang out in such a creative environment. It's not only the creativity of the other students in my class but just being at MCAD and walking around and seeing cool student work hanging in the halls and galleries is a lot of fun.

What would you tell a friend about your MCAD Continuing Education class experience? 

It's such a great atmosphere to learn, plus you will come away with a piece of furniture!

What is your favorite artistic technique or medium? 

It's a little hard to say but I suppose I most identify as a "woodworker." I really enjoy working with wood and it's a relatively easy hobby to get into.

Where do you find inspiration? 

Absolutely anywhere and everywhere. I suspect that sounds kind of dopey but it's true. I've built furniture that was inspired by a hood ornament for a car I saw when I was a kid. It could be something you see in a magazine or a museum. I will frequently see things when I'm traveling because it seems to put you in the right frame of mind. It could be either architecture inspired or nature inspired.

What advice would you give a friend who is interested in trying something new?  

Take a class. Getting together with people with the same goals is a great way to learn!

Register for Building Contemporary Furniture this Fall!  


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