Friday, April 04, 2014

done with the loop... back to boxmaking.

The use of a router table jointer fence to prepare inlay.
I am sending the loop back to Taunton Press today, as I've gone through the text, photos and illustrations a number of times now and am ready to turn it back in for the corrections to be made. In the meantime, I've been cleaning the school wood shop, getting ready for the visitors from ISACS who will be here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for our accreditation review.

I am way behind in my own woodshop and yesterday I began inlaying business card holders, pencil cups and small boxes... products I've made and sold for years. My article on making a Silverware chest is ready now for publication in American Woodworker and I was sent a pdf of the article for review.

My readers might be interested in hearing an actual account of the first Kindergarten, from 1839, written by Col. Von Arnswald and shared in the Quarter Century Edition of the Paradise of Childhood, p.40, 1899.
"Arriving at the place," he writes, "I found my Middendorf seated by the pump in the market-place, surrounded by a crowd of little children. Going near them I saw that he was engaged in mending the jacket of a boy. By his side sat a little girl busy with thread and needle upon another piece of clothing; one boy had his feet in a bucket of water washing them carefully; other girls and boys were standing around attentively looking upon the strange pictures of real life before them and waiting for something to turn up to interest them personally. Our meeting was of the most cordial kind, but Middendorf did not interrupt the business in which he was engaged. 'Come, children,' he cried, 'let us go into the garden!' And with loud cries of joy the crowd of little men followed the splendid looking, tall man with willing feet, running all around him."

"The garden was not a garden, however, but a barn with a small room and an entrance hall. In the entrance Middendorf welcomed the children and played with them an all-round game, ending in he flight of the little ones into the room where everyone of them sat down in his place on the bench and took hold of his gift box. Then for half an hour they were all very busy with their blocks, and then the summons came, 'Come, children, let us spring and spring,' and when the game was finished they went away full of joy and life, every one passing by his dear friend and teacher and giving him his little hand for a grateful goodbye," And then the colonel adds; "I shall never forget this image of the first kindergarten, so lovable and cheerful. I preserved it all in my memory and used it all as a pattern, when in time I had occasion to establish an educational garden in my own home."
Yesterday I delivered six Froebel gifts number 3 to our Clear Spring Pre-School. Our teacher is trained in the Montessori approach, which is quite similar to Froebel's methods. The similarities and differences are described here: Comparison among Froebel, Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Waldorf-Steiner Methods – Part 1

My readers will also enjoy this: It's all in the hands, from Northern Woodlands. I am fascinated by hands, my own and others. Anaxagoras had said that Man is the wisest of all animals because he has hands. An animal that has hands much more human-like than the raccoon's is the possum. It is nowhere near as smart as the raccoon, but still there may be some sense to Anaxagoras' thinking. We human learn best when our hands are engaged. By making things we learn about our material culture in greater depth and with greater enthusiasm than can be found in the laziness of books.

I suspect that raccoons will learn how to open barrel latches sooner rather than later. And once that knowledge gets passed on, rangers will have to lock up the garbage with combination locks.

Make, fix and create...

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