Saturday, September 27, 2014

hands-on learning group

I invite my readers to join the hands-on learning group at Linked-In where a current discussion has been lively.

I have been having intense dreams of late, and know that dreams are suggestive of the interrelation of all things. You can wrestle to find deeper meaning, but the most I draw from them is that we are related to each other and to the fabric of life in ways that we cannot fully understand. The dream state may offer an alternate view of what we experience in life, from the vantage  point of the unconscious rather than conscious mind. Human thought and perception  are "entangled" in the same manner as is the world of quantum mechanics. 

Just because we are unable consciously to discern relationships, does not mean that the relationships do not exist.

For example Polynesians were able to navigate between islands over great distances by observing wave patterns which were created by waves passing around various islands as shown in the drawing below.
The waves formed patterns of interference that described their positions in relation to the islands even though those islands were far out of sight. And yet, non-Polynesians could not believe that they could understand position by simply watching the interactions between the waves that the boat passed through.

When you understand that all things exist in two forms, expressing both materiality and relationship, you can begin to understand what Otto Salomon said of the students' work. He said the value of the carpenter's work is in the object made,  but the value of the students' work is in the student. The young woman standing at the lathe is not just turning an object, she is turning herself into a craftsman with all the sensitivity to material and form that may entail.

 I ran across a word this morning, "botcher," which means one that fixes things, whereas the word botched refers to something that has been screwed up in the process of being fixed. A related British term is "bodger," which refers to a woodsman who uses traditional woodworking tools.

From Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, 1602:
Two faults, madonna, that drink and good counsel will amend: for give the dry fool drink, then is the fool not dry; bid the dishonest man mend himself: if he mend, he is no longer dishonest; if he cannot, let the botcher mend him.
 With out doubt, the first time you try to fix something, you may botch the job. Give it a second go, and a third and a fourth and in time, and with care your artistry will emerge.  Again, I will be in the shop as much as possible today, making boxes.

Make, fix and create...

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