Monday, November 07, 2011

Hand-Craft - Slöjd

John D. Sutcliffe writing in his book Hand-Craft which served as a text book in the UK on Sloyd in 1880 said the following:
Hand-Craft in wood is distinguished from carpentry or joinery in many important respects. There is no division of labour.
Everything produced is the entire work of one operator, or the defects of which he is solely responsible.
This directness of responsibility is one of the great merits of Hand-Craft, being calculated to promote wholesome pride in the excellence of complete work; a sentiment that is apt to be very weak, or totally wanting, where division of labour is much relied upon.
The intellectual faculties are brought into unison with the hand, by knowledge and experience developing together with increasing dexterity.
Genuine respect and sympathy are developed for manual toil by familiarity with its application.
Love of work in general is developed, and a taste for it instilled by practical experience of its utility.
Habits of attention, perseverance, industry and discipline are formed, cultivated, and unconsciously grafted upon the pupil, by the application necessary to excel. Independence, order, and cleanliness spontaneously grow and become part of the nature of the operator.
Manual dexterity being thoroughly established, the operator is endowed with the consequent acquired ability for dealing with the practical business of life.
Education being the object that should be constantly kept in view, in the teaching and practice of Hand-Craft, it should be thoroughly appreciated that it is adapted for forming and shaping the entire bent of all the faculties.
The objects recommended to work upon are all small, and are therefore within the capacity of the very young, and of both sexes.
For the same reason, the eye, the hand and the judgement are trained to precise form and finish in the minutest details, This is important, for, though it is generally easier to make something large and rough than small and smooth, no one who is incapable of making a small model well can make a large one any better.
Small objects are invariably the best training to work upon, as being certain to inspire appreciation for neatness, exactness and accuracy.
Today my fall break came to an end. I returned to my classes at Clear Spring School, having had a great week working in my own shop. Some of my high school boys are taken with the lathe, and work to surpass each other in smoothness of finish. Tyler went the other direction today, learning that by turning aggressively, he could create a vibration in the stock which gave a spiral effect.

Make, fix and create.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:58 AM

    I was especially struck by this: "Everything produced is the entire work of one operator, or the defects of which he is solely responsible." Sometimes it's a beautiful thing and sometimes it ends up in the burn pile, but it was my work.