Monday, November 19, 2007

I am back home after a long weekend in Little Rock, teaching at the Applied Design Center in their furniture design program. I taught furniture design the first day, leading the students through an investigation of design, then beginning the making of a walnut coffee table, the top of which can be seen the in the photo above. The second day, I taught box making as shown below. The furniture program at UALR is in its second year, and is gathering momentum. It has a new director, Mia Hall, who grew up in southern Sweden where she studied Sloyd. She came to UALR after graduating from Wendy Maruyama's furniture design program at San Diego State University. It takes time to develop a culture of creativity in a school, and the lack of creative opportunities in both schools and homes narrows the field. Students need to have experience in the feelings, and pleasure of accomplishment to discover the inner will to create. But, UALR is off to a steady start. My thanks are offered to studio technician John Bruhl for his help during the classes.

Last night I made my presentation on the Wisdom of the Hands at the Arkansas Art Center. The audience was small but wonderfully engaged and responsive, and made me feel at home and comfortable despite some technical difficulties with my presentation.

I spent the weekend with friends in their home, full of beautifully crafted objects, each invested with love and attention beyond comprehension, and each expressing exquisite beauty, making me wonder why most people settle for so much less, allowing their lives to be cluttered and overwhelmed with emotionless, hollow, meaningless manufactured objects. But anyway, it is great to be home, with my own tools and the opportunity to be back at work, making beautiful things.

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