Friday, September 04, 2015

bent elm...

In the school wood shop, I seem to have managed to make a workable bow that my students will have success with, both in the making and in archery. In addition, I've begun work on my 9th and 10th tiny boxes. One will be a miniature bent wood box based in part on one I bought in Estonia. The other will most likely be a business card holder box.

The photo above shows my experiment in bending elm to making a tiny oval box. The size of the finished box will be about 1 1/2 in. x 2 in. and about 1 in. high. I cut the elm about 1/16 in. thick and boiled it until soft enough to bend. While I used my boiling tank for shaker boxes to bend this wood, this one is actually small enough to boil in a pan on stove top.

In the meantime, researchers at MIT have come up with a direct design to print program that will make it very easy for  3-D printing enthusiasts to customize designs by using a set of sliders. That means there will be even more plastic in the world, and less engagement with the materials that have long shaped human culture. If you have "designed" something through the use of "sliders"will there be satisfaction in it for those who may actually have developed skills and know better?

At one time, the boy scouts decided that they would give merit badges for carving soap with a butter knife. The idea was that the soap would be easy and safe. But if all things are to be made easy, how will children develop character, resilience, and strength? If all risks are removed, how will our children develop good judgement and the ability to assess risk?

Richard Bazeley sent this photo of his year 7 student's spoons carved from fruitwood. I think you can see that the designs came in part from a study of the materials at hand.

Some things become easy because we have developed knowledge and skill. On the other hand, some things are made easy for us, and we pay dearly for those things.

Make, fix, create and assist others in doing likewise.

1 comment:

  1. those spoons are Fine. How do I learn? (Have heard the Native Americans would pass theirs down, one generation to the next.)