Thursday, June 06, 2013

ring box, cuff links, earrings and Sloyd

Walnut and spalted pecan
Sliding top, and mitered box joints.
 This is the sliding top box I made as a gift for my wife on our 30th wedding anniversary. The divider would be a convenient place to hang a pair of diamond earrings, but Jean insists we will use this beautiful box for other things.  It could also be used as a ring box or for cuff links. Graduation gift anyone?

The box is inspired in size, shape and purpose by one my student Alfred made in the last day of class last week at Marc Adams School.

Two blog readers alerted me to this article about Sloyd. Readers will also find more information on Bill Rainford's blog.

Bill is a graduate of the North Bennet St. School preservation carpentry program where he was first introduced to Sloyd.

I am pleased to see others getting interested in Educational Sloyd. Yesterday  I was explaining the principles of educational Sloyd to our new Clear Spring School head. When I got to a stopping point in my description, he responded, "Oh, Bloom's taxonomy... only 100 years before Bloom." According to Bloom, his was, "One of the most widely cited yet least read books in American education." And if you read it, you'll learn that it is a far more complex and less useful view of learning than what was offered in educational Sloyd. My new head of school could just as easily pointed out, Jerome Bruner's Scaffolding, just 100 years before Bruner, and he would have been just as right.

What I hope that folks someday discover is that Sloyd presented a comprehensive view of learning, not just a way to learn woodworking.

Still on the subject of Sloyd, I dreamed last night that I was demonstrating the relationship between woodworking and Tai Chi, perhaps stimulated by the quote from Roy Underhill:
"Everyone human likes to move, so we came up with yoga, dance and sport to make movement more engaging and expanding. So too with woodworking and Sloyd. The exercises of Sloyd can bring every modern woodworker along a thoughtful path of liberating discipline, of progress and accomplishment - and reconnection with the good feelings of our ancient craft."
If you are a practitioner of Tai Chi, you will note the similarity between "warding off" and the use of a bench plane or jointer as shown in the Salomon published image above. And if you had visited the school at Nääs, you would have observed the strong relationship between woodworking and gymnastics. And yet, in American education we designs schools and classrooms to restrain children at their desks. If there is a single-most source of idiocy in American education it is the failure to engage the whole child in learning. Treating the mind and body as separate systems is stupidity.

Make, fix and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment