Thursday, June 17, 2010

Furniture Society, Day one.

Today at the Furniture Society Conference, we started out with comments by Alex Slocum, one of the directors of the MIT Hobby Shop, and a keynote address by Ray Magliozzi, of NPR Car Talk fame. Ray was funny, but Alex was right on. His web page at MIT states his mission as: "Teaching and tinkering and teaching how to tinker." Alex is on President Obama's science committee for the BP disaster, and an avid woodworker. He spoke of the integral connection of hand and mind, and noted that one of the prototype caps for capturing the spill came from his own home workshop. Engineers from BP asked, "How did you get someone to make that so fast? You just designed it yesterday!" He replied, "I made it myself." They were amazed. Engineers don't do that kind of thing anymore, except the very smart exceptions from places like MIT. The Hobby Shop is where MIT students and faculty go to make things and it was where we had demonstrations throughout the day.

I am spending a quiet evening to go over my notes and make certain I am prepared for tomorrow's talk. The photo above is of Will Neptune's demonstration on carving for furniture makers at the Hobby Shop. As you can see from the images below, the conference is just across the Charles River from Boston, and as usual, features an exhibit of wonderful craftsmanship.

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