Friday, July 05, 2013

beyond craftsmanship

Hand-cut mitered dovetails
In his introductory remarks published in the Teacher's Hand-Book of Educational Sloyd, Salomon notes the difference between a trained artisan and a teacher. While the trained artisan is focused by necessity on the qualities inherent in the finished product, the teacher must be concerned with the qualities developed within the child. An artisan might step in to make sure the child gets the work right, while the teacher might step back to see that the child learns. In other words, the predisposition of the artisan vs. teacher may be leading in completely different directions.

This does not mean that a person wanting to teach woodworking would not need to develop skills as an artisan. He notes concerning the teacher of Sloyd:
"If he has not himself the necessary technical dexterity for his purpose, it will be difficult, indeed almost impossible, for him to make clear to his pupils how they are to handle their tools and execute the work prescribed. Neither will he be able in an efficient way to supervise their work and criticize the quality of what they produce. The feeling of self-mastery which is so essential for the teacher when he stands face to face with his pupils, forsakes him, and the educative results which he intends to attain my means of slöjd are diminished in proportion. It is most important that this should be laid down once for all, because some teachers possibly imagine that the technical skill necessary for teaching may be obtained by attending one or two slöjd course. This is by no means the case, and the organizers of such slöjd courses are the first to understand and to insist upon the fact, that they can only aim at laying a foundation on which students may afterwards build by means of independent work. Just as little as one can learn to play on any instrument by merely taking lessons for a given time from a music teacher, can skill in the management of tools be acquired and maintained without continuous and earnest practice. The teacher who feels real interest in slöjd must therefore, on his own account, endeavor to improve in respect of technical skill, and this will prove a two-fold gain, because the bodily exercise affords a healthy change form the mental work with which the time of the teacher is chiefly filled."
The photo above shows the dovetailed box, with the corners assembled and ready for  hinges, drawer pull, lid lift tab and finish. You may wonder about the drawer front, top panel and base. They are painted with two colors of milk paint and then lightly sanded to reveal the colors beneath.

Make, fix and create...

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