Monday, July 31, 2017

women in woodworking

My wood shop is a disaster zone. Today, as I attempt to restore order,  I begin getting ready for my last summer class at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. The class begins on August 7. When that is finished I'll begin preparing for classes at the Clear Spring School.

Today I have a phone conversation scheduled with an educator from the Alexandria Seaport Museum, home of Joe Youcha's program, Teaching Math with Small Boats.

Today, also, a furniture making class for adults begins in the ESSA woodworking studio with Steve Palmer. Steve has 7 students enrolled in the class that will be making small tables, so I will check in during the week.

I have also been attempting to assist a scholar in her chapter of a new book that pertains to the impact of Educational Sloyd on the women's movement. The photo from my archive tells an important story. If anyone thought that woodworking was "women's work," a view from 1898 showing the Sloyd classroom at Nääs, tells another story. Young women played an essential role in the early days of the manual training movement, particularly in the world-wide distribution of Educational Sloyd. Young women and men from all over the world studied Sloyd at Nääs to gain the means to shape the lives of their students.

So how was Educational Sloyd different from the system of manual arts training that most of us know or have heard something about? While most manual arts programs focused on the economic benefits of such training, as students were prepared for industrial employment, Educational Sloyd focused on the formative benefits, as children were shaped in their humanity through the exercise of creative craftsmanship.

The image is a photo that I took of a photo in the archive at Nääs in 2006.

Make, fix, create, and increase the opportunity for others to love learning likewise.

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