Sunday, July 03, 2016

crafts vs. art.

An article by June E. Eyestone published in Studies in Art Education, Fall 1992 noted that arts educators were almost completely oblivious to the impact of Educational Sloyd. Why that would be so was left as a question mark and an invitation to further research. Her article, The Influence of Swedish Sloyd and Its Interpreters on American Art Education did a good job of explaining the origins of Sloyd and its values.

It is difficult to find copies of her article and I managed to get my copy through inter-library loan. Eyestone noted that in the entire field of Art Education, only three resources mentioned Sloyd, and of course we can easily guess reasons why. Eyestone for her part, noted that Sloyd was part of our "lost past," and that
Reasons for why something or someone so pervasive or powerful is barely mentioned in the literature would be a revealing and critical endeavor for future research, especially in light of multicultural issues.
If you look to the column at right you can find links to the various resources I've had published in various magazines and journals on the subject of woodworking education. Or you can follow this link: to Doug Stowe's published works.

In the meantime, and despite my own efforts to awaken educators to the history of manual arts training and its original purpose and why it might still be important today, even among some arts educators, there is a failure to grasp the relationship between the use of the hands and the development of intellect.

Another interesting bit of reading can be found in Drawing and Manual Training Journal, 1902 Alfred Vance Chirchill wrote of the relationship between the arts education and manual arts training:
It is worth while to spend a few minutes in examining three of the bonds which bind the two subjects together, for art and handwork were brothers long before they began to go to school, knit by ties more close and vital than the twins of Siam.
There may be a mis-perception among artists and arts educators that their work may contain and represent greater intellect than craft work and most particularly when it comes to the manual arts.

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

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