Saturday, May 11, 2019


Yesterday one of my newer students broke down in tears, and I thought at first he had hit himself in the thumb with a hammer. It was not that. He told me that he kept making mistakes.

I asked one of my students who's been in the shop for years to tell how many mistakes he's made. He showed the kind of loving compassion than one can learn in the practice of craft. I witnessed an unfolding of human empathy, pure and simple that almost brought tears to my own eyes. Each student reassured the humanity of the other.

We are human beings We make mistakes. Mistakes and the making of them are part of who we are. We are not machines, and had best not have unreasonable expectations of our selves. This does not mean that the practice of craft will not lead us toward perfection. But perhaps it's a perfection of a different kind in which we care for each other.

We engage in the material world to learn from it and to learn about ourselves. Part of what we learn is that skills require practice.  The greater the skill, the more of it. And qualities of character are forged in the quest to attain skill.

Many students these days have been taught to live in horror of making mistakes. That is a terrible thing.

We are about to watch the prices of plastic stuff skyrocket due to tariff's placed on Chinese goods. The tariff will be 25%. And so a piece of plastic stuff that would sell for 10 bucks will be 12.50. This tariff is likely to hit hard at the toy isle. Would we not be better off if children and parents were to make their own toys?

Sunday is Mother's day, so Yesterday in wood shop my Kindergarten students made napkin holders, as you can see in the photo.

Make, fix, create, and provide the opportunity for others to learn likewise.

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