Thursday, November 21, 2013


Today, I will be with a video production crew from the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Department of Arkansas Heritage, making a short video on my work. We started yesterday in the Clear Spring School wood shop, and I could not be any more proud of my students. They went right to work and were completely engaged during the time the cameras were documenting the action.

Today the video will focus more on my own shop and my own work as a craftsman. There are a number of things that I hope to share. One is that we learn best when we have a use for what we learn. An example of that is that in he early days a woodsman standing at a distance could recognize all the various trees and their best use because he knew that best use. Eric Sloane had said that a common man, standing at a distance could tell the species of tree being cut by the sound of the axe. And that is a second point in education. We learn best from what we've actually experienced. In fact, a common man standing at a distance would also know the proficiency of the other woodsman, know whether or not the axe was sharp, and how close the tree was to coming down, by simply listening to the distant woodsman.

It is important that museums document craftsmen's work. Which brings up a couple more points. One is simply, that what we don't use we lose, and secondly, the understanding one gets from visiting museums will not be sustained if we've failed to engage children in actually making real things.

A sample of their video production work is shown below.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Andrew Moore andrewm@uoguelph.ca9:43 PM

    Very interesting note about people being able to identify tree species by the sound of an axe hitting them. Made me think about the veterinary bladder stones we test in my lab. Over the years we have come to recognize quite accurately the type of stone by the "crunch" it makes when we crush a piece on a microscope slide with the side of a razor blade.
    Calcium oxalate is very brittle with a crispy crunch, and struvite is softer, with a chalky consistency. There are a number of other types that fall somewhere in between.
    Of course we use "real" testing methods to identify the composition, but sometimes quiz each other based on the feel/sound of the stones. They even sound different when shaken in a plastic vial.

    Love the blog and your "hands-on" approach.

    Andrew Moore