Friday, June 29, 2012


Today I found Lance Lee's original pinky schooner Perseverance moored at the Rockland public landing and I went by to visit briefly with the development director of the Apprenticeshop in downtown Rockland. The pinky may not mean much to some, but this is the 40th anniversary of the Apprenticeshop where folks of all ages learn hand skills to make boats, and learn so much more about themselves in the process.

Perseverance was Lance Lee's first Apprenticeshop boat, and the wooden boat community as a whole understands better than most the necessity of hands-on learning for all.

Once you begin to understand the role of the hands in learning, begin observing first hand, what your own hands can do in the development of your intellect, your character and consciousness, the rationale for the arts, music, woodworking, boat making, gardening, the culinary arts, direct outdoor observation and laboratory science becomes crystal clear and readily apparent. The point of course, is not that these things and academic studies should remain unrelated and detached, but that children and adults (all) may through their hands begin to learn the interconnectedness of all things.

That which is learned hands-on, is learned most thoroughly and to greatest lasting effect. The use of the hands in making useful and beautiful things forges the character in meaningful relationships to family and community in ways much too long neglected in American education.

This afternoon I finished my box making class at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, and it was a great class. My students were enthusiastic, took risks in their design work, and managed to come up with some fine boxes. They particularly enjoyed making things of their own design and reflecting their own inclinations rather than being required to simply copy my work. This evening I attended the annual open house at CFC, attended by hundreds of supporters. It is a great thing to witness such community support, and during the last two weeks, I could not have asked for a better class or a better teaching experience. Tomorrow I go to Camden for an overnight stay and then will proceed to Boston on Sunday via bus.

 Make, fix and create...

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