Monday, March 23, 2009

Today in the Clear Spring School Wood Shop

I have been working on the bench over spring break and have made a mess of the Clear Spring School wood shop, so today I will be cleaning and preparing for tomorrow's classes. I am also trying to find out whether my glass drill will drill holes in rocks which will allow me to add a bit stronger connection in attaching the rocks in the bench. At this point on the bench all that remains to be done is a thin spray of urethane satin finish to harden the surface for longer wear, and gluing the rocks.

Artists and craftspeople have a growing function in today's economy. Some in Michigan are buying abandoned homes and turning them into studios. In the next few days, the Hand Made Toy Alliance will present their case to the US Congress, advocating more reasonable regulation, providing some exemptions for American made wooden toys, from the oppressive regulations designed to protect our children from lead and other dangerous additives in foreign made toys.

Something that most people just don't get (because we are no longer a nation of makers) is that craftsmen are non-religious proponents of civility and moral values, as the making of things involves important distinctions between choices. So we've stripped craftsmanship from our schools at every level, preschool through university. Are the current moral meltdown, excessive greed, destructive corporate policies and the resultant economic collapse of our economy the result of anything other than the loss of emphasis on making things to last generations? I doubt it.

Just in the nick of time, we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the CCC and WPA, two government programs that built a legacy of craftsmanship on behalf of the American public. It is interesting, that through craftsmanship, two things are formed. The object and the simultaneously created craftsman, a person of moral standing within his community.

You want to get a strong economy back? It has to be crafted.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

did you read Chris Hedges http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090323_america_is_in_need_of_a_moral_bailout/. Blew my mind, Also Robin Wood. Thought you might find interesting in ref to your post as well.
Scrap Wood

Doug Stowe said...

That is a scathing indictment of universities, the educational system and politics.

I think that craftsmanship is an amazing way to instruct moral values and ethics, but we are such a very long ways from people being able to understand the concept. Let's work on it.