Saturday, May 11, 2013

china DIY

The US has long had an edge in technology due to the DIY culture that is currently making a resurgence.   Make Magazine, and the huge array of junk available to us play roles in this. I remember a few years ago when my friend Roger found a man at his door who had moved from Chicago and in that move, he wasn't allowed to carry his huge pile of junk. The pile of junk in Roger's back yard was just what he was hoping for. He needed a place where he could scavenge for bits and pieces of old metal to use in whatever he wanted to make. He asked, "Will you sell me your junk pile?" Roger, a tinkerer in his own right, and knowing that he had more than enough to go around offered to share.

Many of us find it necessary be creatively engaged in some fashion, and if there is an ongoing American Success Story, it is that of the backyard inventor. Orville and Wilbur Wright come to mind.

An article in the Atlantic offers photos from the Chinese DIY movement. I don't share this as a cautionary tale. Who cares whether or not they are catching up to American ingenuity? Regardless of culture, or nation, the exercise of hands-on creativity is essential to healthy human moral values, and I applaud all those who make things... the more beautiful and well crafted, the better, but even the junk is better than nothing.

John Ruskin declared:
"It is only by labor that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labor can be made happy, and the two cannot be separated with impunity. It would be well if all of us were good handicraftmen in some kind, and the dishonour of manual labor done away with altogether."
Today I'll be working on chapter 5, making jewelry boxes of a simple design.

My readers may also see some beauty in this...

Make, fix and create...

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