Sunday, November 17, 2019

connections

Yesterday I quoted calligrapher Donald Jackson as follows:
"When we make things with our hands we put into them energy which comes from our innermost self. When we see and feel objects which were made by craftsmen long dead I believe we can still sense their energy lying beneath brush-stroke or sweep of the pen, and we respond to this energy as much as to the object’s surface beauty or ingenuity of design. When we ourselves write we not only communicate information by the choice and sequence of the words; we also reveal something of our inner spirit with every tremor of the hand.” —Donald Jackson, scribe to Queen Elizabeth
Last night I learned that Donald Jackson was also the former teacher of two past and present board members of our Clear Spring School. And so, the world is small in some ways. Roger Beau, who has visited my wood shop submitted the following:
Donald Jackson was commissioned by the Benedictine monks of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN to create a hand-written and illuminated bible, a monumental project that took more than ten years. A beautiful PBS documentary from 2008 ("Illumination/Full Focus") explores the artistic process and can be found online. It heralds the wisdom of the hands and could inspire young artists and makers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrFFVpRnOqY

Make, fix and create...

Saturday, November 16, 2019

from the innermost self.

Our Clear Spring School semi-annual board meeting began yesterday with out of town board members taking a tour of the CSS campus. Our board members were particularly impressed by our collection of oversized Froebel blocks and the way our children keep them in constant use and continual rearrangement. Each and every time I set foot on campus they will be arranged in new configurations.

Every now and then I rearrange them back into the larger cubes to propose new thought.

The following quote was sent to me by one of the founders of the school:
"When we make things with our hands we put into them energy which comes from our innermost self. When we see and feel objects which were made by craftsmen long dead I believe we can still sense their energy lying beneath brush-stroke or sweep of the pen, and we respond to this energy as much as to the object’s surface beauty or ingenuity of design. When we ourselves write we not only communicate information by the choice and sequence of the words; we also reveal something of our inner spirit with every tremor of the hand.” —Donald Jackson, scribe to Queen Elizabeth
Today I'll be raking leaves and assembling boxes.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning lifewise.

Friday, November 15, 2019

but not for a man

"The days may be equal for a clock, but not for a man."– Marcel Proust

While we shuffle students through grades and classes, let's remember they are not clocks and should not be treated as such. They grow and learn at their own paces with the principle factors being maturity, interest, and support.

My elementary school students and I are making clocks and we'll add movements and hands next Tuesday during wood shop. Some are making their clocks to reflect their studies of different countries, and I gave clock making  parts to our elementary school teachers so they could set examples for the students to follow.

I thank my fellow teacher Ginny for the Marcel Proust quote that she used on her own clock illustrated by her drawing of the Eiffel Tower.

I learned yesterday that my Guide to Woodworking with Kids book is still on track for publication in May. https://www.amazon.com/Wisdom-Hands-Guide-Woodworking-Kids/dp/1940611881/

Make, fix and create...

Thursday, November 14, 2019

children are not clocks

My students at the Clear Spring School are making clocks. But children are not clocks. They do not all mature at the same pace. Is this not obvious to the point that segregation of children rigidly into grade levels is revealed as dumb and insensitive? This study https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-18026-001 reveals the negative effects on children of holding them back a grade or two in schooling.

Yesterday my Kindergarten students made note holders. They wanted to do other things, but the project was engaging enough that they found great pride in their work.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning lifewise.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

cold day, warm shop

There was no school around here yesterday due to Monday's freezing rain, followed by severe cold, that left roads a bit slick.

I managed to get some time in my woodshop. I finished inlaying lids for a couple dozen boxes, and machined a few parts, preparing to fill an order due in December.

The new wood shop at the Clear Springs School is being painted, and after a wood floor is laid, we'll begin preparing to move in.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning likewise.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

simple lift lid

This crematory urn box is made with a lift off lid, and strips of cherry in the lid give it a tight seal.

The pulls at the end are designed so that with two fingers at each end, the box can be carried. With just one finger at each end, the lid can be lifted from the box. It's a unique feature of my own design. It allows for a tighter fit than would be achieved through using hinges.

The lid is simple in the way it works, not so simple in the way it's made. Is that not the way the world works?

The box is finished with Sam Maloof's formula shop made with urethane varnish, mineral spirits, and linseed oil.

It is sad to consider the loss of a friend. But the making of things brings a quiet joy. The engagement in the work of making lovely things, sets one right with the world, despite the pain that one might feel. Today I'll ship the box, and prepare inlaid box lids for engraving.

Make, fix and create.


Monday, November 11, 2019

motion blur

Yesterday I sanded and finished the sample longboard I've made as a teacher at the Clear Spring School. I want the students to know what theirs can look like if they follow the right steps and apply their attention, rather than just hurrying through the process as kids (and adults) have a  tendency to do.

An editorial in yesterday's Democrat-Gazette, our state-wide newspaper, pointed out that excessive vanity was once regarded as a shameful thing. My mother had a saying, that "fool's names and fool's faces are often found in public spaces."

Hyperized display of self-importance is the primary game and source of amusement of the internet age. It covers for a lot of things. Incompetence, insensitivity, anxiety, thereby allowing us to hide from ourselves by putting ourselves into foolish places.

There's a newer saying, "fake it till you make it." The idea is that you can pretend your way to success, or at least fool folks long enough to avoid the hard work involved in acquiring real skill. Motion blur can hide a lot.

Today I'll be in the wood shop. I plan to add lift tabs to the box I'm making for a friend's ashes. I'll also resume the process of inlaying boxes for an order due in December.

Make, fix, and create. Ask that other learn lifewise.