Monday, March 26, 2012

the meaning of green...

Part of what we learn in the making of things is the responsible use of materials. And that is why in particular, seeing materials derived from their source is of great value. To go directly into the woods, can be a source of inspiration, but also a source of understanding. This month's American Craft Magazine (April/May 2012) explores the nature of green, ranging from a potter who digs his own clay to an excellent editorial by Glenn Adamson who looks at the Thomas Thwaite's Toaster Project. Adamson states:
"...big corporations are...adept at manipulating the rhetoric of sustainability... But craft does have a special advantage. In the effort to promote more self-aware ways of living, the simple act of making by hand signifies direct engagement with an object, and therefore a degree of personal responsibility."
In other words, being green is not just something that we ask of our nation's corporations as a marketing strategy, but a responsibility we take in our own hands and that we learn through crafting objects of useful beauty.

In this week's Time Magazine, Joel Stein presents a study showing that despite what we may have been led to believe, "Generation Y" is less green in real terms and in actual fact than the Baby Boom generation that seems to have made such a mess of things. Stein, noted for his wit states: "Turns out Gen Y is as green as an oil spill." Stein's article, It's not easy being green can be read here. There is a direct connection between the making of things, an understanding of the materiality of our small planet, the origins of ideas, and an understanding of the interconnectedness of all things. If we've had children untrained in the making of things, they may be also missing the values that are imparted through craftsmanship.

On a different subject, Joe Youcha's Building Boats to Teach Math project is leaping ahead and has morphed into theTeaching With Small Boats Alliance. Check out the conference that is coming up on April 27, 28 and 29.

Make, fix and create...

3 comments:

Karin Corbin said...

The boat program is from my local area, I have visited with them. A local alternative junior high school has a program at the Seattle Wooden Boat center where they teach math by building pond sailboats. The city of Seattle has created a new park featuring a pond for sailing the boats in on an adjacent piece of land,

Last summer I posted photos of that pond and the workshop where the boats are built on my blog.
http://karincorbin.blogspot.com/2011/07/sleepless-in-seattle.html

The Pirate Boat Model Boat project was started in 1921 to encourage kids to get involved in woodworking. You can find out more information about the program and get instructional materials for starting your own associated program at this web site, click on the menu item for pond boats.
http://www.r-boat.org/

There is also a family boat building program that is part of the Northwest Wooden Boat School.
Here are photos of their recent project.
https://plus.google.com/photos/114486538885404117193/albums/5723207513843766033?banner=pwa&authkey=CLuQipDg-a-bDw

My 8 year old woodworking student is very eager to start building boats.

David said...

On that note...
Matza Baking for passover and making olive oil for lighting Hanukah candles has wonderfully enhanced my own experience, my family's and student's relationship to tradition.

David said...

On that note...
Matza Baking for passover and making olive oil for lighting Hanukah candles has wonderfully enhanced my own experience, my family's and student's relationship to tradition.