Saturday, October 12, 2013

insufficiency of the present system...(1886)

At left you can see my magnetic box towers. The following is from Calvin Woodward, father of the American Manual training movement:
"Nothing is clearer than that our present system of education is inadequate. For fifty years there has been a growing conviction that the education of the schoolroom does not cover the whole ground; that, however excellent the abstract intellectual discipline, however thorough may be the reading of written histories and the study of language, a great want is still unsatisfied. We want a fuller knowledge and a greater familiarity with the material world by which we are surrounded, through the medium of which we act for and upon each other and for our own physical well-being. A knowledge of material things and material instrumentalities can be gained only by close and systematic observation and study, and is in itself a liberal education. Consider for a moment, to how great an extent the value of a man as a factor in society depends upon his exact information of the material world and nature's laws. The conclusions of the best theorizer are valuable only in proportion to the soundness and completeness of his premises. Is a plate of rolled iron equally strong along and across the grain? Does wood in seasoning shrink equally in all directions across the gain? What shapes can, and what can not, be molded and cast? What is any one of the myriad facts of chemistry learned fully only by observation and experiment? Upon your answer to such questions, your practical usefulness depends. In your investigations upon such points, your brain will be as active as your hands. If you neglect  to use either, you will be lame and impotent.

We have two natures, one physical and one spiritual, bound together in a union so close that no man can draw the line of separation. If the material world is not the basis of the intellectual, it is certainly, as far as our human existence is concerned, the sine qua non of its growth and manifestation. The sound mind can be found only in connection with the sound body."
As human beings, we discover who we really are through the process of making beautiful and useful things, and schooling that fails to take advantage of this simple fact will not cover the full ground.

Two length flipping story stick.
I keep learning and pushing my own creative understanding each day. Today, my contribution to box making is the two length flipping story stick. Say for example that you have a box that is one length and the lid overhangs on all sides. That means you have two lengths to contend with in setting up the router table to mortise hinges. The stick shown accomplishes that feat, helping to set up the stop blocks to rout perfect mortises.

Make, fix and create...

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