Sunday, March 20, 2016

Box making

Yesterday with the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers, I taught a demonstration class on making a hinged box with floating panel top. Today we will make a finger joint router table and cut the joints for a Greene and Greene styled box. I am nervous about getting this ambitious project done in one day with 12 students, each making a box of their own.

Yesterday I was  reminded of an old friend from the 1990's when I sold my work at the Philadelphia Buyer's Market of American Crafts. Bill Bolstad was usually in a neighboring booth selling his own boxes and small tables, and the quality and design of his work was remarkable. He's also slightly older than I and a craftsman and person I regarded at the time as being an inspiration for my own development. Bill lives not too far from the Portland area and many of the Guild's members have participated in his box making classes.

Last night I watched a bit of a ball game in which UConn was competing with (and being beaten by) Kansas. Anyone who thinks that the incredible play was merely an exercise of bodily athleticism, and not an expression of mind would have to be mistaken just as one who would think intellectualism had nothing to do with the body. I watched as one Kansas player went airborne at the net and lingered there seemingly in defiance of gravity until the moment another player had missed. He then pulled the ball from about 3 feet away and shoved it through the net. There was no absence of mind or mindfulness.

The way the brain develops its wiring is through exercise, just as the muscles are formed through regular use. Axons and dendrites in the brain are developed through stimulation. It is a mistake to think that they just develop on their own by thinking about abstract stuff that's disconnected to real world activity. Instead, they and their potential connections to doing wonderful things are lost when not exercised.

The images are of the beginning of my class and of the wonderful shop at the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers.

I am working to get my hands around my education symposium: exactly what I'll present, and what I hope we can accomplish.

Make, fix, create and extend to others the hope of learning likewise.

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