Friday, May 08, 2015

arising from the interests of the child...

As we approach the close of the school year, I have evidence lying around of failed projects that never got quite off the ground.  It's not a matter of nothing having been learned from them, but rather, being projects that were somewhat abstract to the students, and that came from my insistence rather than from their inclinations, failed to launch in their imaginations. Those things that have direct usefulness in their lives, or those abstract things that they have designed and made themselves and at their own inclination are less rarely left behind.

So, I will have some things to clear away and put in my home composting pile, where wood scraps go at the end of the day.

Yesterday, in addition to helping our upper school students with their physics demonstration construction projects, I turned another satellite ring box and began making band saw and scroll sawn boxes. The wonder about scroll sawn boxes is that with some nice material, they can be so quickly made.

So, what did Hanna know, and where did she learn it? The past few days, two of our Clear Spring School students have been taking a jewelry making class at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.  When the jewelry teacher asked about the differences in sandpaper grits, Hannah, was the only one in the room who raised her hand. She explained that the the lower the number grit the rougher it would be and the higher the number the smoother and that was why they used the higher number to buff the metal and the lower numbers to take off the burrs. Then the teacher asked, "where did you learn that?" The answer was simple. "Woodshop."  I'm pleased that Hanna would remember and apply what she had learned in other directions.

For some, wood shop is regarded as the ugly stepsister of the "arts." In wood shop, students make things from wood that are more useful than arts stuff and can be just as beautiful, but there have been long noses looking down upon such interests and concerns. Until this last issue, in which Educational Sloyd was mentioned, American Craft Magazine has completely ignored the role of wood shops in the genesis of the Arts and Crafts movement. But Architect, Will Price, had laid out the connection very clearly in a lecture to the Eastern Manual Training Association Conference of 1904 .

Make, fix and create...

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