Monday, November 08, 2010

turning around America

Or is it "Turning America around?" Woodturner Beth Ireland is travelling the US Turning Around America with her van fitted out with tools and sleeping space. She will be in Arkansas for a few days in April, and I am hoping to arrange a visit here to work with kids at Clear Spring School, and with adults at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts (ESSA). So far in her travels she has taught 420 people to turn wood.

Beth says of her work,
"I want to empower people through the act of making objects with their own hands. I will achieve this by teaching woodturning and simple woodworking to as many people as I can, while traveling across the United States in a van that contains a mini workshop and personal living space."
One of the things you will notice is that woodturners "get it" with "it" being the relationship between the hands and learning, and the essential role that skilled creativity fulfills in human life. "It" seems to have been forgotten and neglected by so many in our consumer culture in which things must be easy in order to be accepted or acceptable. Make, fix, create, get smart, be happy, live the tough life, accept challenges. We need them, they make us whole.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:40 AM

    Good for Beth! I hope you're able to arrange a visit with her. From my experience, turning requires a level of concentration and of connection between the hands and the brain that few other things do.