Monday, August 22, 2011

timeline of American Crafts...

The American Crafts Council has created a 70 year timeline of American Crafts to celebrate their 70th year. If you are only interested in woodworking without all the other wonderful fine crafts, you will find George Nakashima, Sam Maloof, Art Carpenter, Tage Frid, Wendell Castell, Wharton Esherick, James Krenov and so many other woodworkers playing important roles in the American Crafts Movement. You will also see how closely American Crafts are tied to the development of our unique American culture.

Yesterday on our way back from Wisconsin we visited friends in St. Louis. Bob had formerly been in the financial services and computer industries, and found a more meaningful life as a contractor. Before that he had found fixing things around his home to be one of the most pleasurable of activities. His wife Julie had started a small landscaping business, and as that business grew to several employees, there were always a few things in homes and gardens that needed fixing or renovation. Bob took on these projects in his spare time while still working at the bank, and as his success and reputation as a carpenter grew, the banking fell to the wayside, and Bob never looked back. Now with two small businesses to manage, they have never been busier or happier in their lives.

One of the things you will find on the timeline is Tim Hardin's song, If I Were a Carpenter, which asked, "If I worked my hands in wood, would you still love me?" The song became a top 10 hit for Bobby Darin. That was the year I graduated from high school and some of us have found that making beautiful, useful things from real wood is not only a romantic notion. It provides a meaningful life.

On another subject, it seems high stakes testing invites high stakes cheating. Teachers and administrators in a variety of state doctored test scores to make their children appear to be performing better than they actually were. Now standardized testing advocate Michelle Rhee has come under even greater scrutiny in the New York Times. When things appear to be too good to be true, they often are.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's a lot in this one post, from Sam Maloof to Michele Rhee. Newspaper stories about schools here seem to never mention that the highest performing schools in the area, judging from graduation rates and college acceptance, don't use those ridiculous tests.

Mario