Friday, October 02, 2009

woodworking on economic upswing

According to the Craft and Hobby Industry Association, woodworking sales grew from $1.13 billion to 1.39 billion for a 20.2% sales increase while general crafts declined by 3.2%. This is associated with an 11.5% increase in the number of households doing woodworking. Hopefully, some of that woodworking will rub off on kids.

This all means that good things are happening in the woodworking world. People are doing more of it. And that means very good things for the American culture.

Today in the wood shop, I am working on parts for drawer facings for a friend's kitchen. The drawer fronts are made with tongue and grooved cherry parts set in frames made with bridle joints in a Greene and Greene inspired design. I have been working on a veritable mountain of parts, fitting and sanding and organizing. You can see a bit of the project in the photo above.

Chapter 2 of Eisner's book is about seeing as not seeing, which you will see illustrated in the photo below. When we examine an object exclusive of its surroundings, its making, its history and cultural significance, we only see a bit of it. We choose or someone has chosen for us, what is to be included or excluded from what we see and what we examine. When we look at a framed image, it is at the exclusion of the surrounding reality. When we frame student performance through multiple choice test scores, we see very little of the whole child. When we teach through the frame of standardized curriculum we present our children with a narrowly contrived world view. Get the picture? There's a real world out there and it is best if it includes the arts.
On another weird subject, I have started posting on twitter. Most twitter posts are kind senseless to me, but I wonder, if restricting posts to 140 characters isn't a good thing. Certainly most of the great quotes composed in the English language are 140 characters or less, and I will try my best to tweet sweet. You need not subscribe to twitter, as my "tweets" will be shown in the gadget box at right. But if you are all a twitter, you can subscribe at right and forward my short tweets to friends and help me expand the following of this blog.


  1. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Twitter can, if done well, be almost a haiku or a zen koan.


  2. Twitter, like most things would be better with some editing. And yes, haiku would be good, or a zen koan.