Sunday, October 17, 2010

box making

As many of my readers know, my first published articles and books were about box making, and still, after over 30 years as a professional woodworker, a portion of my annual income is from making small boxes to sell through gift shops, craft fairs and galleries. I got the following email on Friday describing the potential for box making in schools...
"I teach woodshop at a public high school in St. Paul, MN and wanted to write you and tell you that your box making book is taking my school by storm. I recently was told to teach a reading based woodshop class where the students had to read as much as cut wood. The students found it boring to begin with but when I introduced your DVD and the first section of your book to them, including the introduction, my attendance went up and stayed up and the students loved the simple design of your lift lid box. I am just finishing up my first set of boxes today and I have students, whom I don't know, coming by and they ask to build one!

Thanks so much! It's easy to teach to students with enthusiasm! Your book made it possible."
Box making is such a wonderful way to become engaged in woodworking. The amount of materials required is small. The amount of storage space for materials and materials handling is small and far more predictable. You can learn every form of woodworking skill by making boxes, using every tool in the wood shop and learning what it and you can do. You can make expressive heirloom objects that motivate students to learn.

I hope to develop a school woodworking curriculum based on box making in response ot the obvious enthusiasm that students express. Next week, my middle school students will begin making band sawn boxes, so today I will spend some time preparing materials for class on Tuesday, and I plan to have a discussion with Fine Woodworking about it later in the week.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Somebody else noticed! That's great to see. That wood shop teacher is one of a rare breed, but he can show results.

Mario