Thursday, October 23, 2014

80 percent right...?

The current issue of Wooden Boat Magazine has an article about the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Hadlock, Washington. The article is called, "Accuracy School," a name given it by one of the students interviewed for the article. When you are doing something real, there is no vagueness about fit. The true test in doing something real is not to be 80 percent right before you are passed on to the next level. You get it right, or you start over, and perhaps over again. And so there is a difference between school, that children know to be a contrived and often meaningless educational environment, and doing something real, like building a wooden boat. In either case, building a boat or attending school your life will likely depend upon the results, but schooling is so very vague that too many children are disconnected from it.

Accuracy is also a thing to learn in wood shop, and it has been interesting watching as my students work on their sketchup legos™. Some have started over and over again to get them right, and if they're not right, they won't fit. The proof is not to get an 80% score but to put in the correct data in the right places to hit the nail right on the head, even if it's the third or fourth time to try to drive it in.

Where in the world, would 80% be a good score except in school? Scores themselves are contrivances and artificial, and so it is good to see educational institutions like the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in which students do real things. Accuracy applies to everything human beings do, and to learn to do a difficult thing right builds both character and intellect... two essential ingredients for future success.

In my own quest to get more of my work sold, out the door, and out of the way of making more beautiful things, I've arrived at a very simple backdrop for taking photos for Etsy. It's a folding screen made of formica™, so it is stiff and lightweight. I can pull it out at a moment's notice, take photos of individual boxes, load them to Etsy and then put it away.

What if we were judged on our miter joints? Could you say, this miter is 80% right because 3 corners fit tight, and the last one is only 10 degrees off?

Make, fix and create...

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