Thursday, February 05, 2015

plunging in...

I have had readers ask how to get started in wood working with kids. I have entered a new online community in my curiosity as to how to make fruitful use of our 3-D printer at school. My students find 3-d printing to be a marvelous and engaging technology, and they can find all  kinds of things that other people have designed that they want to download and make. The thingiverse is chock full of stuff.

The point of education, however, is not to fill our lives with stuff, of which there is already too much, but to engage our curiosity and creativity so that the stuff that fills our lives is experiential and represents the growth of character and intelligence. Watching a 3-D printer at work is rather boring in comparison to the level of attention it takes to craft something in one's own hands. If you don't have a 3-D printer, just think of that tiny ball that rotates occasionally on your computer screen when the processing takes more memory or capacity than your computer has. So you will want other things to do while you are waiting for whatever object to print. For example, 6 legos can talke over an hour to print. Might I suggest a Sloyd knife? Even if you prefer plastic to wood, it is the perfect tool for whittling on parts, and will connect the user with Educational Sloyd and the much earlier experiment in putting the hands in service to learning.

Otto Salomon had said that the value of the carpenter's work may be in the service the crafted object offers its user. The value of the student's work,  on the other hand, making the same or similar object, is in the student.

When it comes to 3-D printing and e-Nable, and others who may want to join it, I am reminded of my Springer spaniel when she was a pup. We walked along the shore of a small lake, and the pup would stop and bark at the water. She was entranced by it. So I threw her in. From that point on, I could never keep her out of the water, even on the coldest of days. I hope when it comes to either joining the 3-D printing community or the ages-old one of wood working with kids, my readers are able to take the plunge.

The sloyd knives shown above are handcrafted by Blue Spruce Toolworks to the Nääs design preferred by Otto Salomon.

Make, fix and create...

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