Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The last principle of design to discuss in relation to education, and the role of teachers as artists is contrast. In 2-d design, we naturally think of contrasting colors and their use to enliven a painting. In woodworking, we often use contrasting woods to make our work more interesting and engaging to the viewer. So, as designers of paintings or of things, we know the value of contrast. So, too, do effective teachers know the value of contrast.

We know that when a child has been sitting, he needs to rise and run, and then when a child has risen and run, a bit of quiet story time is in order. We know that "compare and contrast" is one of the valuable tools in developing intellectual and emotional understanding.

We know also that the child that leaves our care at the end of the year is more mature, more confident, stronger of stature and stronger of intellect, than the child who came to us at the beginnings of the new year of school. We do not need standardized testing to tell us of these things. But we do need one of those very important tools of character that artists, craftsmen and teachers share... that of deep caring and concern for the development of the materials at hand. And in the case of children, they are of greater concern to all of us than canvas or wood.

Today, I am beginning work on a large corporate gifts order that will keep me very busy for the next month. I will try to keep my blog posts at a minimum in order to keep my real work flowing at maximum capacity. I had promised to offer insight into the elements of design, the conceptual tools used to put the principles firmly in place. That will wait for a later date. For now, I will mention them, as any artist, craftsman or teacher can explore these on his or her own. I will state that these things enliven work:  Points, Lines, Planes, Shapes, Focal point, Scale, Texture, Value, Color,  and Space.

Make, fix and create...

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