Thursday, September 07, 2006

Welcome to my Wisdom of the Hands Blog. I have been a woodworker for over 30 years, making furniture and small boxes for a few local patrons and a small list of galleries across the US. In 1995 I began writing articles for woodworking magazines, and in 1997, my first woodworking book, Creating Beautiful Boxes with Inlay Techniques was published. Since that time, I wrote 4 more books, became a contributing editor for Woodwork Magazine, have had additional articles published in Woodcraft, a couple of UK woodworking magazines and in Fine Woodworking. It is easy to see that my woodworking experience opened the door to other things.

The most important thing to develop in my life has been a concept I call "the Wisdom of the Hands". I realized that my own craftsmanship provided a common sense understanding of the interconnectedness of all things, and practical power to do things that were deeply satisfying and that emerged from my own creativity.

I became concerned at the loss of woodworking programs in schools. I had been informed through discussions with others on the internet that woodshop was no longer relevant. We were in an information age they said, and manufacturing was no longer necessary in the American economy, so teaching children to make things was no longer relevant in their education. Knowing how to do skillful things was no longer required. For the student of today, having a head full of information and the ability to take tests to prove retention while displaying no motivation toward meaningful action is tragically enough!

I realized that as a published author and respected member of the woodworking community, I had a responsibility to pass on to future generations the things that I had learned about learning, and the value of hands-on education for all students. To that end, and in deference to my own learning style, I started a 1st through 12th grade woodworking program at Clear Spring School in my adopted home town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The experience of starting a woodworking program, sharing an understanding of the deep connections between the hands and brain in learning, and generating a shared understanding of how we can renew education in America to reflect our humanity at its deepest levels are the purposes of this blog. If you are interested, please join me.

Doug Stowe

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