Dan Konopaski - My First Shop Teacher
I recently heard that Dan Konopaski, my first shop teacher at Hyak Junior High in Bellevue Washington recently passed away. Mr. K was had a profound influence on myself and a number of my friends. He gave myself and my brother quite a bit of freedom to explore what could be accomplished in the shop at that Junior High.
In 1984 I started my MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) degree at The Claremont Graduate School. After a few weeks of using the shop to create some of my works, one of the core faculty, Connie Zehr asked me where I acquired my woodworking skills as most students don't arrive with that profound of skill set. When I replied, "Junior High Woodshop" she was a bit surprised.
The vast majority of my woodworking skills were learned way back in 1973 to 75 in the shop that Mr. K ran. I thank him for the passion he brought and instilled into his students.