Wednesday, January 27, 2016

alternation between rectilinear and curved objects.

In discussing curved vs. rectilinear forms with Richard Bazeley in Australia, I remembered a question that I had about the arrangement of sloyd models, as rather than proceeding as exactly as one might expect having to do with order of difficulty, they would jump from square assembled objects to delicately carved ladles and spoons and then back. There was obviously something more going on in the arrangement of objects than the progression of ease with which they were to be made. The following from Salomon's Teacher's Guide helps to clarify.
The articles which are included in slöjd carpentry consist partly of "modelled" articles bounded by curved surfaces, and partly of rectangular articles bounded principally by plane surfaces. It is very important that any arrangement of models in a series should present good alternation between these two kinds, and, generally speaking, a modelled object should follow a rectangular object and vice versa. As a result, each model acquires to some extent the charm of novelty, and this still further increases in the pupils that interest for their work which is the very greatest importance as regards the educational benefits to be derived from sloyd.
The point that Salomon makes here is that educational value rests upon the interests of the child. Yesterday in my lower elementary school class I had only two students and they were so excited about the project I had in mind, and that I showed them an example of before class. The photo above shows the finished projects (and they insisted their boxes be finished in a single day, such was their enthusiasm for the objects made.) What made things sweeter yet for them was the admiration the older students showed for what they had made as they were leaving class.

The project gave me the opportunity to test my new cut-off box. I found that the one that clamps in the vise works better than the one that clamps to the table top, but both work.

Make, fix, create, and extend to others the capacity and inclination to learn likewise.

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