Thursday, December 21, 2006

One of the things that happened early in the industrial revolution was that assembly lines put workers out of touch with the finished product, and left them experiencing only a very small portion of the creative process. In contrast, one of the things that drives many craftsmen like myself is the sense that what we create is from start to finish, the result of our own efforts. As mentioned a couple days ago, this has been described by psychologists as "self-efficacy" or "effectancy."

When we view modern society in terms of what is commonly allowed to us...roles taking place only in narrow arenas, where we have little grasp of the outcomes of our ventures and little sense of how each moment, each day, each week fits into a greater scheme of society and larger purpose of life, we can easily understand how we have become so dependent on mood altering drugs. Whether we are talking about illegal drugs, alcohol or legally prescribed medications for anxiety and depression, we can see the loss of "self-efficacy" or "effectancy," as a primary cause.

Educational Sloyd prescribed that each child's work be his or her own, from start to finish, providing a full understanding of the creative process, with a minimum of interferance from the teaching staff.

In my own work, direct involvement in every phase of the making of an object, whether a small box, or a large piece of furniture, is essential to me. Each day as a project progresses from rough lumber through all the many, daily or even momentary steps that lead to its completion, there is direct connection to inner sources of well being.

The photo above is of a bench I made that is featured in the December 2006 issue of Fine Woodworking.

No comments:

Post a Comment