Monday, July 13, 2015

mix and match veneering...

The more you do, the more you know, and after a while, a woodworker becomes a walking catalog of techniques that cross fertilize in the projects he or she makes, provided he or she has learned to trust creative inclinations and been allowed to follow them where they might lead.

Alfred North Whitehead said in his essay on the Aims of Education,
In training a child to activity of thought, above all things we must beware of what I will call “inert ideas”—that is to say, ideas that are merely received into the mind without being utilized, or tested, or thrown into fresh combinations.
That's where the hands come into play, for as Charles H. Hamm had noted, the mind seeks the truth but the hands discover it. Utilizing, testing, and throwing into new combinations is what the hands do best.

Whitehead had described a learning in depth process starting with romance of the idea, then the development of precision in the application of that idea, culminating in what he called "generalization" or the ability to leap toward application of an idea into fresh territory that may appear unrelated to the original application. I can explain the hand's role in this process, and it is a relationship I will explain more thoroughly in a subsequent post.

Most internet learning stops short of the precision stage, in that most folks leap romantically from one idea to the next without investing energy in the development of precision. The development of precision requires application of both mind and body in the creative act. The consequence might reasonably be described as leading to a "soul infused notion," one which commands both the wakeful and sleeping mind in continuum. The process Whitehead described is closely associated with the human use of metaphor, and involved the integration of the conscious and unconscious mind.

The photo above shows a mix and match veneering technique as sections of veneer are assembled to glue to the sliding lids on Japanese puzzle boxes. The images at left and below show the parts in process of replication for the boxes to open and close.

Make, fix and create... teach others to do likewise.

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