Monday, July 28, 2014

indulgence in the improbable...

I am in Indiana, and have completed day one of box making at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. I will have 18 students in this week-long class in box making, and then will have an equal number of students the following weekend for a class in making small cabinets.

I also brought David J. Whattaker's book The Impact and Legacy of Educational Sloyd along so that I can write a review of it for British Woodworking Magazine in my spare time. Reviewing this book is a great immersion in the subject, and I hope that my review will help British woodworkers to recall their own history in manual arts education.

Over the course of the coming week, I will have photos to show of adult box makers and cabinet makers in action, but today I was too busy to take any photos.

I am reading a book written in the 1850's by Captain Marryat for the entertainment of his children. He noted that his children and half the civilized world were reading and enjoying the book, Swiss Family Robinson, but as a real sea captain, he could not bring himself to write anything as far fetched as that. He noted,"it is true that it's child's book; but I consider, for that very reason, it is necessary that the author should be particular in what may appear to be trifles, but which really are not, when it is remembered how strong the impressions are upon the juvenile mind. Fiction, when written for young people, should at all events, be based upon truth."

It is true that we treat children as though they are idiots. It is the purposeful indulgence in the improbable. By keeping them safe from real life, we stifle their powers. Instead, we should offer them fictional materials that help them to discover a relationship with and interest in real life. Captain Marryat's book is called Masterman Ready or, The Wreck of the Pacific and it can be found as a free download on Google Books.

Make, fix, get real and create...

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