Monday, February 08, 2010

no school today

You'll not have seen so many pictures of kids working with wood on the blog lately. We have missed so many days of school and wood shop due to snow. Today is one more of those days, and while we do not have the deep snow that has affected the Washington, DC and Philadelphia areas, even a small amount is enough to stop school when you have hills as steep as ours in northwest Arkansas. We had about an inch during the night and expect 5-7 inches more during the day.

I have been using my time to make progress on a variety of fronts. One is that I am working on chapter 3 of the Wisdom of the Hands book which is a much more coherent and organized view of the educational philosophy that you read each day in the blog. This is kind of a daunting task, as you know the hands touch every aspect of human life and culture. Prior to the machine age, everything we touched was either a natural form or bore the creative imprints of the human hands. To distill the impact of our hands down to 9 chapters is a daunting task.

I've also been working on woodworking articles, and a bit of stuff in the shop... my relentless friendly competition with the Chinese in which I make small wooden boxes, and custom furniture.
In addition, I am working on my first piece of sculpture in over 30 years. Presently called Dancing Noguchi, It is a simple slab of cherry standing as a human form. I am impressed when I see the price tag on sculpture as compared with the prices people are willing to pay for furniture, and have come to believe that I might as well join in the fun. If I sell a few pieces for big bucks, it might alleviate financial concerns in other areas.

Today I voted early to increase our school millage to finance construction of a new high school.
"What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon it destroys our democracy." - John Dewey
The images above show two works by Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, and my own work in cherry is shown after oiling. Next, the walnut base will be sanded and oiled, the mounting pipe will be painted black and I will have my first finished piece of sculpture in 30+ years.


  1. Anonymous9:19 AM

    Stay warm and keep on creating!


  2. Maybe it is time to make some nice wooden toboggans and sleds, or even some wooden shovels. . . :-)

  3. Greg and I used to go to the Noguchi garden in Costa Mesa, CA. A beautiful spot that celebrated each of the elements. It is rather hidden, so if you don't know where it is you are out of the special loop. Thanks for reminding me of him.

  4. Sometimes I wish that I could get a little break due to the weather but (un-?)fortunately I live only 3 miles from the school so I've never missed a day from work in 28 years due to inclement weather. Also, our program is residential so our students are there 24/7 and always ready for us. Woodshop is "hot and heavy" here in the "cold and deep" snow. Glad that you're getting a lot of other stuff done however and maybe I will too one day. Fat chance.