Monday, March 31, 2008
This is another of Bill Sherret's model steam engines. It is all made from steel and brass scrap from designs in a book and is called a "hula engine" because of the interesting movement of parts at the center during operation. It required hundreds of hours as each small part was made with the metal lathe and milling machine. The great shame is that the kind of intellectual curiosity that drives craftsmen like Bill to create is a dying thing. We have come to a point of dull acceptance in relation to technological objects. We know we can't make them, we can't fix them, we can't understand how even the most simple things work so we cease to care. Having ceased to care, we lose our power to create. Understanding and interest in the inner workings of technologies start with more basic things. A saw, hammer and nails are a good way to start, moving a child from complaisant consumption to creative intellectual engagement. For that to happen someone has to flip the switch. Will it be you?