Kilroy’s Workshop believes that the primary purpose of education is to train kids for life, not just college. We offer classes that everyone should experience, regardless of whether college is part of the journey or not. Unfortunately, many schools are cutting shop classes, or students are not afforded the time to take these classes. If you homeschool, it’s tough to build the expertise and buy the tools for kids to build skills in these areas. That’s why we are here! Kilroy’s Workshop specializes in tween and teen industrial arts education.
From the book Shop Class as Soulcraft (not a book for kids, btw):
“…the skilled trades are undervalued in America. They are undervalued in the American educational system that has systematically eliminated shop class. They are undervalued in the collective consciousness that views them as lowly, “blue collar,” dirty, unprofessional. But, the funny thing is that there is one place where they are actually not undervalued at all, and that is in the marketplace, which has seen a greater and greater demand for the skilled craftsman, be he a carpenter, electrician machinist, mechanic, and so on. On account of his being in demand, the skilled tradesman has his choice of jobs, needs answer to no one, and earns a living wage, perks that are not to be scoffed at in this economic environment.”
Our studio is located in an airplane hangar in Falcon, Colorado (Meadowlake Airport). It turns out that an airplane hangar is the perfect place to have a large workshop! High ceilings and a massive door work really well.
I (Ron Hardman) grew up in shop class. My father was a teacher for 36 years, mostly in Industrial Arts (shop class), and I practically lived in the school shop from the time I could pick up a hammer. I’ve worked on construction crews, designed and built furniture, attended the Woodwright School in NC, learned blacksmithing, and am the set designer for Academy of Children’s/Community Theater (ACT & ACT II).
On the personal side of things, I have been married to my wife for more than 20 years, and we have four kids from elementary school to high school. We’ve been in Colorado since ’96, and love it here! In addition to building things, I have been a software architect (Oracle-based mostly) for 20 years, an entrepreneur, a best-selling author of computer programming books and historical fiction, and I taught an economics class in ’13 for High Country Home Educators. Our whole family is also involved in our church, especially Awana where I have been a leader for 23 years, and was a clubber before that since the age of 5. I am also on the board and a sponsor of two wonderful non-profit organizations: A Daughter’s Heart and 4Gens.
Whether your kids are homeschooled, or in public/private/charter schools, they will learn a ton in our classes – and have a blast in the process. Feel free to email me atRon@KilroysWorkshop.com, or submit an inquiry on our Contact Us page. If you’d rather talk, feel free to call me at 719-482-4035. I look forward to hearing from you!
Kilroy (the character)
The original Kilroy character goes back to before WWII. Called Chad in Great Britain and Foo in Australia, the character was part of both cultures as far back as the first World War. The character was then attached to the name Kilroy, who was likely a WWII rivet inspector in the Quincy, Mass. shipyards. He would write “Kilroy Was Here” to indicate that he had inspected a section of rivets, and GI’s would later find the inscriptions on ship after ship. It grew into a national catchphrase and character, with GI’s and citizens drawing the Kilroy character all over the world. Rumor has it that Hitler even created a team to track down the super-GI named Kilroy.
Ron Hardman, founder of Kilroy’s Workshop, has a personal connection too. He used to get letters from his Great Uncle Bob Packer as a kid. Uncle Bob would sign each letter with the Kilroy character instead of his name. Ron always loved that, and he’s used the character on occasion.
We are called Kilroy’s Workshop because 1) it’s a nod to my Uncle Bob, 2) Kilroy has a rich and humorous past that honors our military, and 3) the connection to manufacturing and quality by the real Mr. Kilroy is something we always want our students to remember. We should all be willing to sign our name to our work.
For a more thorough history of Kilroy, visit Wikipedia’s Kilroy Was Here article.