Monday, February 07, 2011

A thought for today

Do you ever want to drill evenly spaced holes down the length of a board? This simple jig that I made this morning will allow holes to be drilled on center 3/8 in. apart for making weaving looms. After the fence is set in the right position, you simply drill the first hole, and flip the spacer out of the way to drill the next and so on. The idea is to make it easy enough that one of my students could do it.

From 200 Poems for Teachers of Industrial Arts Education, edited by William L. Hunter, Industrial Arts Dept. Iowa State College, 1933:

A Great Purpose in Art Education
A glance back over the ages impresses one with the universality of the art instinct--weak and struggling here, strong and virile there, but ever present, differing only in degree and kind. We find it woven and carved hammered and infused and generally breathed into nearly every known substance. Ever present, common to all, we find certain enduring qualities of patience, perseverance and sincerity, and the observance of certain satisfying principles and harmonizing laws. Our business seems to be that of perpetuating and defining this instinct for expression in the light of what the past teaches, the present requires, and the future promises. In the fostering of these instincts and the perpetuation of these standards lies the hope of tomorrow--a hope for deeper feeling, finer workmanship and nobler living. Our hope for accomplishment must be founded upon unbounded faith in childhood. Our approach must be thought out in the spirit of democracy. -- C.V. Kirby
C.V. Kirby taught carving, modeling and design at the Denver Manual Training High School in 1902.

One of the things neglected and forgotten about manual arts was the notion that those involved in making were also making themselves along the way. Character development was a distinct and valuable product that came from the wood shop. The following poem from the 200 Poems collected by William L. Hunter is a reminder of what we have given up when we abandoned manual arts education.
We all are blind until we see
That, in the human plan,
Nothing is worth the making, if
It does not make the man.

Why build these cities glorious
If man unbuilded goes?
In vain we build the world, unless
The builder also grows.-- Edwin Markham


  1. I enjoy reading your have referred to this book "200 Poems for Teachers of Industrial Arts Education", Could you post the isbn and authors name so I can source a copy of this?


  2. John, the book has no ISBN number. The editor was William L. Hunter. It has not been widely published, and consists of bound mimeographed pages dated 1933.

  3. Thank You Doug, I've contacted Iowa State and their achiever located 3 copies of the text. I will be trying to get one through an inter-library loan from my local University.

  4. John, I got my copy from Teachers College in New York. They were clearing old books having to do with the manual arts.