Monday, March 24, 2008

Bob Barnett in San Francisco, a member of the Diablo Woodworkers, alerted me to Kids Carpentry. It's an afternoon woodworking program that has been going strong in the San Francisco Bay area since 1982. It is promoted as a math enrichment program.
By building a variety of fun projects, children learn a wide range of valuable carpentry skills such as measuring, fractions, sawing, drilling, rasping, fastening, sanding, shaping, assembly, and painting. Hand in hand with the practical skills goes a wide variety of other worthy concepts such as abstract reasoning, applied mathematics, problem solving, craftsmanship, fine motor skills, respect for tools, and patience.
The photo above is of St. John the Divine Cathedral on Amsterdam near Columbia University. I took it last night on our way to dinner. You will note that the south tower is unfinished as work stopped years ago. The north tower hasn't been started yet. Perhaps someday when our society re-awakens to the wonder or our hands, work will begin again. The work of the hands is not just the stone, steel and wood left as evidence of labor, but takes root in the human spirit as well. Perhaps the stubbed off and missing towers are an appropriate symbol. We are stubbed off, missing a large part of ourselves when our hands are no longer empowered to shape our lives toward greater meaning.

In the mail today, I got my rejection notice from an art show. For some reason arts curators seldom relate to the simple elegance of real wood. But we'll keep working on it.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:43 AM

    As I remember, work on St. John the Divine has been going on for over a hundred years, never really totally stopping, but never looking like there's a whole lot of progress.

    Too bad about the art show. If woodworking is good enough for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, it should be good enough for this bunch.