Friday, November 29, 2013

A celebration of the whole man, the creator...

As some are waiting in line this morning to carry the black friday specials home for their pleasure or to wrap as gifts, some are working to make things. Others have gotten up late and are still headed for for the mall or big-box store hoping to score. And I'll celebrate the life as it can be lived in the hands and intellect of the maker. In The changing order, Oscar Lovell Triggs wrote:
The time has come for schools whose aim shall be to serve the needs of modern industrial democracy, that shall build upon the fine instinct for workmanship that is the very life of industry when not permeated by caste;—schools that shall declare: ”The ideal university is a place where nothing useless is taught.” It belongs to an aristocracy to support the useless—useless garments, ceremonies, athletics, learning and whatnot—as the sign of an ability to indulge itself in reputable expenditure. A democracy justifies its existence on the ground of its usefulness, its ability to create and do, and its faculty to enjoy creating and doing. The new school will start with the constructive energies; it will unite the senses and the soul; it will employ the hand equally with the brain; it will exalt the active over the passive life; it will love knowledge of its service; it will make a real and not a false use of books; it will test production not alone by its pecuniary results but by human values—whether it yields pleasure or pain. The problem of democratic education is not to give the people a culture alien to their lives but to transform that which they have into something more rational and harmonious.

Under present conditions of specialization, the master is separated from the man, the designer from his tool. These conditions require that the tool be sharpened for the designer, that the man be disciplined for the master. However advantageous this relationship may be economically, it has little value educationally. It destroys the totality of work and the integrity of life. It sinks the individual into the product. It permits no one in the whole series of specialized activities to be, in the full sense of the term, a creator. It tends to develop experts, but not full rounded men. It is almost totally defective in idealism. The theory of the new industrialism is that in industry the whole of life can be contained. The true workman loves his craft for its life quality, because the thing upon which he works is somehow a part of his own inner ideal.
The changing order that Triggs hoped for over 100 years ago never came in full measure. But it is never too late for such things. it requires the sustained exercise of craftsmanship.

In keeping with the title of this post, An article about Bill Coperthwaite was published online.

Make, fix and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment