Friday, July 10, 2015

sliding top pocket boxes...

I've begun working on sliding top pocket boxes similar to those long made by Heartwood Creations. When I began box making in about 1976, Heartwood Creations was already at work making tiny inlaid boxes with sliding tops. I made a few sliding top boxes myself, but what was the point in trying to compete with their fabulous designs, and their already extensive marketing? Their sliding top boxes were sold in gift stores all across the US, and still are.

But should that cause one to not find pleasure in making similar boxes for family and friends? Things are always made more rich and more meaningful when they arise through one's own efforts and are shared with those with whom one already feels secure bonds of love.

My own boxes are inlaid, and my readers will have a choice of making them either with the plunge router or on the router table. Instructions will be given for both techniques. This will be the 6th chapter completed for the book, so I will have to start scratching my head for another full set of interesting designs.

Tonight my wife and I will attend the Arkansas Living Treasures Exhibit at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock, 5 to 8 PM. Join us if you can. A small selection of my work, and my student's work will be shown.

On the education front, the Arkansas Department of Education has reversed course in standardized testing for the third time in 3 years. First the were to use one brand of standardized test, then another, and now has changed course yet again. The interesting thing is that the intention of standardized testing (in theory) is to measure learning and student performance. But if the measure used is changed every year, there is no basis for claiming anything about the procedure as being standard. Do you get the idea here? Can it be that the whole purpose of "standards" is to sell tests and to make an ever increasing profit for the standardized testing industry?

On the other hand, when children are engaged in the making of useful beauty, no test is required for the intelligence and character displayed in their growth is at hand for all to see. I have begun to realize that the changes I would envision for American education will not be easy. Please join me in a difficult revolution.

Make, fix and create... then teach others to do likewise.

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