Saturday, September 12, 2009

finished sloyd knives

Today I finished my set of Sloyd knives as shown in the photo above. The blades are now sharp and ready for use and as soon as the Danish oil gets sticky, I'll rub them out and put them away until time to set the children at work.

When manual training was first offered to American students, some parents of poor children were concerned that it would cause further separation between classes. Ultimately it did, when schools began to routinely separate those students planning to go to college from those who were not, and thus began de facto class separation at the high school level. The following is from the prospectus of the manual training school at Washington University established by Dr. Calvin Woodward:
"One great object of the school is to foster a higher appreciation of the value and dignity of intelligent labor, and the worth and respectability of laboring men. A boy who sees nothing in manual labor but the mere brute force despises both labor and the laborer. With the acquisition of skill in himself comes the ability and willingness to recognize skill in his fellows. When once he appreciates skill in handicraft, he regards the workman with sympathy and respect."
At that time, manual training was seen as having purpose in the education of all students. Now we have a system of education that sustains cultural bias against the hands and the labor of the hands, and isolates millions of students from the discovery that they might find greater meaning through expression of skill in the creation of useful beauty. It sucks, don't you think?


  1. That's quiet the arse*nal of weapons you have on display there Doug. :-)

    Butt seriously. . .

    They are very nice looking tools.

    Well done.

  2. Thanks, Robin. I'm glad you approve. Tools are only weapons in the hands of those who intend to use them as such and these short blades aren't what kids fantasize about in their video gaming. But they will shape wood!

  3. You're welcome Doug. They are very handsome knives.

    I agree 100% that knives, or indeed chairs, or cars, or computers, or even flaming chalices for that matter. . . are only weapons in the hands of "those who intend to use them as such". That was the point I was trying to make with this comment, and some previous ones that I submitted that you did not see fit to publish. There is a pagan U*U by the name of Charles Rowe who is less than welcome at the Franklin Unitarian*Universalist Fellowship since they decided that the hunting knife he had worn on his belt to Sunday services for years without incident is a weapon and no longer allowed on church property, even though kitchen knives, car, chairs and computers no doubt are. . .