Thursday, August 27, 2015
finally getting somewhere...
I'd been at work on boxes that turned out to be overly complicated in design, and then made a slight change of course, turning this design into a "lift-lid" box. I had a very simple box in my Basic Box Making book that had a great deal of appeal to readers. Tell me, will this have the same appeal?
You will note that the turned walnut knob has not yet been installed, and I've ordered brass knobs from Lee Valley that will be used on some of them. The woods used are sycamore with its lace like quartersawn grain pattern in the body of the box, with spalted maple in the lid.
The idea (I hope) is that my readers will take to this box, and enjoy making them as much as I do.
In the school woodshop yesterday I began preparing materials for students to make bows and arrows.
"The University of Virginia announced a new five-year program that will award graduates both a bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's in teaching." Perhaps that is a sign of a growing recognition that making should be returned to k-12 education.
On the other, engineering implies an interest in having others make, and may not indicate the ability to actually make something of useful beauty with the skills at hand.
Froebel's distinction between gifts and occupations should be informing us in the decisions we make about education today. The gifts were used by the children then put back in their boxes unchanged. The idea of the gift was to change the understanding in the heart and mind of the child, to incite curiosity about learning, and observation of life. We should adopt that same understanding of technology. Kids can learn from their devices, but if they don't do anything tangible as a result of learning, then their learning is what educators once called, "one-sided".
The occupations were to give children creative, transforming power through which they, too, were transformed. The distinction between Froebel's gifts and occupations was based on the recognition that education was not just what went into the child in the form of lessons and information, but must also be balanced by what comes out of the child in the form of tangible expression, in which each child discovered ways in which they could participate directly in community life.
Make, fix, create, and encourage others to do likewise...