Tuesday, June 13, 2017

end of day two MASW

I have completed my second day of teaching box making at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. One of my students told me that he's already learned enough to cover the cost of the week full of instruction. The rest of the week will be fun for us all. All of my students have at least one interesting box in the works and some are making several.

So far, I've demonstrated finger joints, hidden spline joints, and keyed miter joints. Students have learned how to make floating panel lids, lift off lid, sliding lids and tomorrow we will begin using hinges.

It's fun. I'm making new friends and selling a few books. It is energizing. If I were at home doing nothing, I'd be tired by now.

I had a conversation with a friend who has taught science to middle school students for 28 years. In comparing his students today and those of the past, he said that students seem to take far greater prodding than in the past and are too often unwilling to invest time in doing anything that appears difficult to them. That's a tragic state.

We grow in character by doing things that are difficult for us. Digital technology is continuously made easier and easier, and gives the appearance of being both powerful and creative. But the creativity is in the program and not in the child. The power is in the device, and fingers sliding over glass are left with too little capacity to do real things. This is not my appeal to do away with digital technology. It is my sincere request that we put real tools in the hands of  both children and adults that they may create useful beauty.

Make, fix, create, and increase the likelihood that others learn likewise.

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