Thursday, November 07, 2019


Yesterday I planned for my Kindergarten students to make tops and little storage stands to hold them.

The idea was not just to make the tops but to learn to use them and also to share them with family and friends. So each student made three. From having three, questions arise. "Can I spin two at once?" "Which will spin the longest?" Would you like to try, too?" Being able to give them a good spin requires practice.

Decorating them is part of the process for as they spin, the colors merge and lines form circling the top.
"The hand does not only grasp and catch, or push and pull. The hand reaches and extends, receives, and welcomes – and not just things: the hand extends itself, and receives its own welcome in the hands of others. The hand holds. The hand carries. The hand designs and signs, presumably because man is a sign. Two hands are folded into one, a gesture meant to carry man into the great oneness." — Martin Heidegger What is Called Thinking, 1968
Making things is a thoughtful process. And in thinking about the making of things, we are  thrust into complexity. One of my lower middle school students is completely enamored by a computer game called "Fortnight." He would come into the shop with his hands holding an imaginary pickaxe and as his hands moved over his head, I could see him thinking and imagining his own role in the game.

Yesterday I gave him a long dowel and a place at our larger lathe.  He turned a handle for his pickaxe. I helped him turn a piece of 2x4 into the pickaxe head that to his eye resembled that from the game.

Make, fix, create.

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