|How to drill from corner to corner?|
|synonyms:||cheapness, miserliness, meanness, parsimoniousness, niggardliness, close-fistedness, closeness, penny-pinching; |
informalstinginess, minginess, tightness, tightfistedness, cheeseparing;
But in academia, parsimony can refer to Occam's Razor... the principle of simplicity related to having started with the fewest assumptions. The more assumptions, the greater the likelihood of error. Or in craftsmanship, parsimony can be the reduction of method to the fewest steps. One of the things that comes through practice is that the body makes fewer unnecessary movements and both the speed of the work and quality of the work can increase unexpectedly. When you reduce the number of steps, you reduce the introduction of error. So in accusing me of being parsimonious, I had been offered a compliment.
So I raise a toast to parsimony and craftsmanship. Yesterday, a blog reader asked me how to drill a hole in a wooden cube from one corner to the other for the making of Froebel's Gift number 2. In some models, holes were drilled and dowels inserted for rotation of the objects. I asked Scott Bultman, who has been associated with a Michigan toy maker his whole life. It is a family business and they used to make Froebel gifts before they arranged to have them made in China where gift number 2 can be made by a small manufacturer at a rate of 300 sets per week. When they made the sets in Michigan, the holes were not drilled, but he assured me that Froebel must have known how to do it.
That exchange with the reader and with Scott led me to examine the cube and sent me to the woodshop after dark to develop the process. As with all things, the first inclination is to dream up something complex. We make a natural assumption that if we don't know how to do it, some complex tooling or methodology must be used. But, WWFFD? (What would Friedrich Froebel do?) Without a full woodshop and complex apparatus the law of Parsimony would have been in effect.
With the observation of the cube, I began work. Applying the law of parsimony, all complex solutions were tossed out. With two false starts, I have simplified my approach. I will share what I discover, as success is close at hand.
Between teaching and writing, I have been negligent in the marketing of my work, and yesterday I sent a number of boxes, a piece of small furniture and two sculptural forms to a new gallery opening in Memphis. To see work go out the door leaves opportunity to make more. That's a good thing. To sell it and move it into other people's lives will be even better.
Make, fix and create...