Sunday, July 20, 2014

handling mind...

The title of this blog post comes from an interesting website in Finland that concerns a project that explores the way the hands and mind connect. Handling Mind. My readers might find it interesting.Among the area of interest is how the use of the hands increases the plasticity and capacity of the mind. We mistakenly assume the mind controls the hands, but the mind itself is constructed by the skilled operations of the hands. It is a situation of chicken and egg. Which came first? They developed in relation to each other. And the hands, unlike the other instruments of perception, have the capacity to create and express.

I visited with a friend yesterday who has been a doctor for 40 years. He is frustrated with the ways that technology intercedes between the doctor and patient, and how the hands are becoming less well trained in new generations of medical practitioners. Perhaps we will arrive at a point in medicine where all things are done by robots, each trained to assess things that the trained hands of a physician once did so well. It will be like robots fixing robots. Whereas in the touch of one human being of another, feelings are made known, and in a simple touch, things can be fixed that can never be repaired by a machine.

I have been photographing the making of wooden spheres, and the making of such things as miter boxes, and doing a bit of whittling on the side. I am also preparing my thoughts for my trip next week to Marc Adams School of Woodworking where I will teach for seven days.

The hands are the primary pathway to real learning, and Friedrich Froebel utilized crafts early in his teaching career. He learned those crafts either as an observer or participant when he was a forester's apprentice in the Thuringian Forest in Germany as a very young man.

Make, fix and create...

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