Friday, October 06, 2017


At ESSA, students are finishing a week-long class in blacksmithing, a week-long class in glass mosaic, and a three day introductory class in wood turning.

At Clear Spring School, my high school students will continue with framing square math, and my upper elementary school students will work on precision and less sloppy work. I have blocks for them to assemble into Soma cubes. In order for these Soma puzzles to work, the blocks must be carefully sanded and positioned with care in relation to each other.

I had noticed a growing mindlessness being applied in their work and I hope to bring them toward greater concentration and concern for the outcome of their work. Making puzzles is an exercise that I hope they also enjoy.

A reader asked for an accounting of the benefits of woodworking in school. Years ago Jack Grube and I developed a list of 21 reasons woodworking is of value in 21st Century Schools. You can find that, here: The reader also asked on behalf of her pastor, of the spiritual benefits of woodworking. Some of those are included (though not specifically indicated or separated) in the list.

I personally do not believe there to be a division between that which is practical and that which is of spiritual concern. Woodworking is a means through which children and adults can seek to serve in their families and communities whether you name that as a spiritual matter or not. There is little more important in the development of a child's life than the creation of useful beauty. The same is true for adults as well. Joseph, after all, was a carpenter, and St. Paul made tents for his living.

The photo shows Kip Powers demonstrating on the lathe. His philosophy is that too much instruction cuts into the student's time on the lathe and interferes with learning. It is better for him to give basic principles, and then to observe and counsel individual efforts.

Trump, in the meantime warns of a "storm coming. Let's hope not. Between guns and hurricanes, we've already suffered enough.

Make, fix, create, and increase the likelihood that others learn lifewise.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Doug.

    The link for the list of 21 reasons to do woodworking in school seems to be out of order.