Thursday, March 31, 2011

taking a straight shaving off a plank...

"Let the youth once learn to take a straight shaving off a plank, or draw a fine curve without faltering, or lay a brick level in its mortar, and he has learned a multitude of other matters which no lips of man could ever teach him." --John Ruskin, "Time and Tide", 1883
Today I have many new visitors to the blog due to the New York Times Article on woodworking for kids. I put a link in yesterday's post to take readers to some of my published articles and papers on woodworking education. The quote above from Ruskin describes both the intrinsic and extrinsic effects of hands-on learning. One parent from Clear Spring School had mentioned to me that while many classes may teach students things about the world, woodworking seemed to also teach the child about him or her self.

After writing the Wisdom of the Hands blog for about 5 years, I've written thousands of posts, each trying to explain something about the hands. You could spend way too much time and read them all, but you would learn so much more by getting involved in crafts of some kind and leading your own children or grandchildren into that journey with you as your companions.

If you are here with more general concerns you might want to acquaint yourself with David Henry Feldman's essay, The Child as Craftsman. It provides insight that should be considered by all those concerned with education reform. Take a straight shaving off a plank.

Make, fix and create.


  1. I enjoyed reading the article this evening. Learning that there are so many other people on the same page as I am really strengthens my own beliefs about the educational and lifelong benefits of working with wood.

  2. Anonymous2:43 PM

    I have a 14 yr old grandson who is looking for a basic woodworking class in New York City. Can anyone help?