Monday, June 20, 2011

Building Small Cabinets DVD...

This week I'll be working with Taunton Press video producer Gary Junken on the DVD to go with my book, Building Small Cabinets. It will be 90 minutes in length and cover various  techniques used in building a variety of building small wooden cabinets. This will be an intense week. Take a break from the blog if you wish. I'll be talking about the same things when you come back. Or dig in more deeply. We know that our lives are richer and more full when our hands are engaged. We are better connected with human culture, and feel better about ourselves when we are physically engaged in making real things, tending real things that grow, offering healing touch to those we love, preparing nourishing foods to share with family and friends. We know that we are brought spiritually into the moment when we play music and that psychic and emotional burdens are lifted when we are in the company of those who use their hands in creative fashion. We and those around us are lifted by the hands.

To take the hands into consideration in American education is a relatively simple step. It may have to be taken quietly and against the wishes of administration, and without the knowledge of those bean counters who know only beans and so very little about the needs our children have to be creatively engaged.

On a related subject, researchers have noted a distinct correlation between the amount of television watched and a rise in type 2 diabetes. So just in case you wonder how you can find time to do woodworking and other crafts, think how much longer you will live if you do so. This may seem ironic to propose on the day I start DVD production, but turning off the TV will be a great gift you give yourself in longer life and opportunity to  create. And think of the gift you give your children if you get them started on the right foot! Health, happiness, intelligence, character, creativity and more.

Make, fix and create...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,

I am a woodworker enthusiast and have been inspired by your books as well. I have been reading your blog for sometime and I must tell you that I have come close to unsubscribing from your blog. Perhaps, you might want to know why.

Here is a line from this blog that I must object to. We know that our lives are richer and more full when our hands are engaged. Now, why is that? Is it because you your life is richer and fuller when you arw odoodowrking or otherwise engaged in a physical activity? Could it be possible that for other people, some other activity, entirely hands free is the one that makes their lives richer and fuller?

IMHO, taking our limited life experience and forcing it on others is extremely short-sighted. I see no reason why everyone should be conversant with everything. There was a good reason in the last century for being good with tools, crafts and building -- it was a way of earning one's livelihood. Today, it is changing to something else. I am not sure if the number of people who were genuinely interested in arts/crafts for reasons of personal enjoyment and fulfillment were in any greater proportion then as compared to now.

I see a lot of passion for your craft in your writings and that's laudable, of course. I only wish you would recognize the diversity in human behavior and see that there is no reason to be bemoaning any decline in what you treasure.

Sorry for ranting. Had to share my perspective.

Doug Stowe said...

Thanks for sharing, and I hope you feel inclined to keep on reading.I am certainly not trying to force my opinion on anyone. I have a rather broad view of hands on. Any part of the body will do. Tapping your foot to music can enhance the enjoyment of listening. there are lots of ways to be involved beyond crafts and woodworking. Gardening is an enjoyment even when your hands are not in the dirt, but you are merely watching the things YOU have planted. But would you have the same level of enjoyment if you were watching something grow that you had not planted.

I appreciate you taking the time to share your view. I don't see the need to back down from mine. I see a long list of important things happening when we are deep into the world in a more physiological sense. And the best way to get a grip, in my opinion is with the hands.

Actually I'm not bemoaning a decline, but rather celebrating the start of a resurgence of interest in all things hands on. You will find lots of links here to articles about that resurgence.


very best wishes,

Doug