Monday, August 22, 2016


I have been bending wood for tiny bent wood boxes as shown in the image at left, cutting blocks to finish Froebel block sets number 3 and 4, and working on my special collection boxes I call "the choiring of trees." More photos of those may come later in the day.

There are of course dangers to a society in which all folks are busy crafting beautiful and useful things. First, it would disrupt the status quo. We would be far less busy as consumers, and all the big stores would take a hit on their bottom lines. And this would be particularly true for those companies making and selling useless stuff.

The upside is that when people craft the objects that inhabit their own lives, they learn so much about themselves in the process, that we would be far more forgiving, nurturing and caring for each other. Who can be involved in crafting beauty, and making things to serve others, without learning other unintended things? Consider this:
"We are always in these days endeavoring to separate intellect and manual labor; we want one man to be always thinking, and another to be always working, and we call one a gentleman, and the other an operative; whereas the workman ought often to be thinking, and the thinker often to be working, and both should be gentlemen in the best sense. As it is, we make both ungentle, the one envying, the other despising, his brother; and the mass of society is made up of morbid thinkers and miserable workers. -- John Ruskin"
And this:
"The most colossal improvement which recent years have seen in secondary education lies in the introduction of manual training schools; not because they will give us a people more handy and practical for domestic life and better skilled in trades, but because they will give us citizens with an entirely different intellectual fiber.

"Laboratory work and shop work engender a habit of observation. They confer precision; because, if you are doing a thing, you must do it definitely right or definitely wrong. They give honesty; for, when you express yourself by making things, and not by using words, it becomes impossible to dissimulate your vagueness or ignorance by ambiguity. They beget a habit of self-reliance, they keep the interest and attention always cheerfully engaged, and reduce the teacher's disciplinary functions to a minimum" -- William James
 Make, fix, create, and use your example to inspire others to learn likewise.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:53 AM

    Probably good t-shirt-print-ons...: MISERABLE WORKER / MORBID THINKER