Friday, September 22, 2017

lovely or useful things, music or at the very least spaghetti

Yesterday we had the premier showing of Eleanor Lux's Arkansas Living Treasures film showing her at work in her beautiful studio and talking about her work. There were about 50 people attending and enjoying the three films about local "treasures." We had the films showing in both the bench room and lathe room using the TV's we use for student instruction.

In remarks, I attempted to direct attendees to the necessity of making in schools. If students aren't making beautiful and useful things, let them at the least make music. If they are not making music, at the very, very least let them make spaghetti. Schooling should be infused with real life.

If you want students bored, disinterested, disengaged or disruptive, proceed just as we have with a regimen of isolated academic endeavor, thus keeping our children safely sequestered from the wonders of real life.

The photo shows a very simple way to provide an essential tool for elementary school wood working, a sanding block.

In Educational Sloyd, sanding was discouraged, as it was preferred that all shaping of wood be done with very precise, individual mindful cuts. Sanding obscurred those cuts. That level of craftsmanship would be lovely today, too, but children and adults rarely have patience for that level of infusion of mind and hand. The sanding block can be used to shape edges and make smooth, leading the student to observe with some greater care.

To make sanding blocks I use self-adhesive sand paper, cut with scissors as shown and folded around the edges of a piece of wood. These can be held in hand or secured in the vise.

Make, fix, create and encourage others to learn lifewise.

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