Monday, September 08, 2014

a glimpse of heaven if hell lies just outside of the door...

A Clear Spring School parent sent me this link to the School at Rose Valley, which like Clear Spring School attempts to hold woodworking at the center of school life.

Rose Valley was an intentional Community founded by architect, Will Price, a leader in the arts and crafts movement. In 1904 at the Northeastern Woodworking Teacher's Association he spoke of the relationship between the subsequent rise of the arts and crafts movement in relation to woodworking education in schools:
"In the dark ages when they wanted to torture a man beyond all possibility of his holding up under it they did not torture him with thumbscrews, or the maiden, or the boot. They put him in a room without interests, where there was nothing to do, nothing to see, and dropped a drop of water with deadly regularity on his head, and he invariably went mad. I accuse the present system of doing precisely that thing. The man who has to stand at the tail... of a machine, doing uninteresting work--monotonous, regular, but without any interest, without any volition--is in exactly the same position as the man with the water dropping on his head... As manual training teachers you should realize that it is not enough to take the children into your school rooms and give them a glimpse of heaven if hell lies just outside of the door. Here is this great school of industrial art which teaches people year in and year out how to design beautifully, how to weave properly, how to dye properly, and then gets them jobs which require them to do the very reverse... the demand is not for the best thing that man does but the worst--for the purely commercial thing. That is not enough. That is why I am making this plea for the arts and crafts; that is the connection that I see between the Arts and Crafts movement and manual training school. The manual training school has done much to make the Arts and Crafts movement possible. I have no statistics for this statement; you do not need statistics for such thing--you simply know them; you cannot go on teaching and training these young people for twenty-five years that is its right to do things that are worth while and not have some of them adopt the teaching."
Today I worked to move cabinets from the old wood shop to the new one in a building at the center of the Clear Spring School campus. Make, fix and create...

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