Wednesday, December 30, 2020

books and cooks

I got a royalty statement from Taunton Press today and was pleased to find the amount of sales being well over twice normal. That's a sure sign that during covid-19 folks are reading more and wanting to spend more time doing real things. We need that. The virtual world and the virtuous world  are not the same. In the virtuous world we provide tangible service to each other.

Certainly, a renewed interest in cooking is taking over in American households.

I'm curious what the long term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will be. Some, sadly, will have lost loved ones and friends. Some will know quite well how important we are to each other. Some will survive with debilitating effects from the disease. 

Please be careful. When all this is over, wise, healthy hands will be needed to fix things and set things right.

The photo is of my new work bench from another angle. The retractable wheels allow me to move it various places in the shop. The drawers will be loaded with tools and jigs.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning likewise.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

My new workbench

I've finally finished the new work bench that I started last spring. 

I used dovetailed drawers that I salvaged from an earlier project, and a slab of silver maple cut and left over from a much longer plank. Bench dog holes in both the top and vise will allow pieces of wood to be held on top for various operations. 

Wheels make it easy to move around the shop. Its weight will keep it stationary when the wheels are lifted allowing the legs to touch down. 

This is a covid-19 survival project, intended just as much to meet my mental health needs (keeping the hands and mind busy) as for actual shop needs. 

The bench has natural edges along the front. The legs are white oak and the wooden vise is made of cherry. The drawers have white oak facings with the drawer boxes made of maple. It's robust and will last long after my own days are done.

Other things we've found useful are cooking and yard clean up. This week I hauled another 100 yards of old hog fencing and barbed wire out of the woods and have been cutting brush to make our woods more inviting. 

Make, fix and create.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

finding a common truth

 I've heard from a number of friends and family members over the holidays, even from distant countries, and it appears we are living in pretty much the same world. Covid-19 is an equalizer of sorts in that it is forcing us all to recognize a common truth. 

We've been lied to and deceived about the dangers of the disease. Some have lost loved ones due to the lies. But lies only work until they've been laid bare by circumstances intruding from the real world. The sun comes up and lays the truth bare. We all have been made clearly aware that Covid-19 is real. It is dangerous and we would all be safer now while waiting on the vaccine if we had all been encouraged to take it seriously from the outset. I can point to the number of lies we've been told. I can name them and name who told them, but that would not solve the problem we face.

While Covid-19 is taking a much larger toll on the poor, and a much lighter toll on those who have the means to work from home or are retired, we all face the same risks when we venture out, and most are taking greater care in their daily lives. We are among the lucky ones. We've learned how to stay safe and have the means to do so.

In the early days of manual arts training in the US it was proposed by educational sloyd that all should receive training in the manual arts. Even those who were going to college and were to have everything done for them by minions were to benefit by being humanized in the manual arts. In the Jewish faith the Talmud warned:

"As it is your duty to teach your son the law, teach him a trade. Disobedience to this ordinance exposes one to just contempt, for thereby the social conditions of all are endangered… He who does not have his son taught a trade prepares him to be a robber… He who applies himself to study alone is like him who has no God."


Martin Luther insisted that each man be taught a trade, not just one of the mind, but of the whole body, that human culture might be of whole cloth. 

One thing that learning a trade did, and that the manual arts also did, was to bring all students into a relationship with the fundamental reality upon which all other learning should be based. The manual arts develop the skills of observation, problem solving and hypothesis, while also creating a sense of the dignity of all labor and empathy toward those who perform it.

Now a days, it's become perfectly acceptable to tell whatever lie you can get away with or to fudge the truth in the belief that if you can get others to believe what you believe, then you've found some victory of sorts. What a shallow, shameless world ours has become. But it does appear that reality is persuasive in times like this. It is time to learn a few things from our shared situation and hold accountable those who lie, and for each of us to become awake enough to see through and to act toward the protection of all.

Make, fix, create, and care for each other. We need that.

Friday, December 25, 2020


 My wife and I have learned that we can survive in a pandemic by being careful to keep social distance, to wear masks, to avoid crowds and unnecessary travel. It's not fun. But  I would prefer to not put her at risk and she has the same feelings for me. We're lucky. She's retired and I'm lucky to be able to do most of my work at home. I'm deeply concerned for others who are not so lucky. It would be painful to live alone. It would be frightening to be an essential worker and to know you may be infecting those you love by just coming home at night. Can you imagine feeling responsible for the death of someone you love? There are many in that situation today. Taking chances. "It won't happen to me!" Sometimes the statement is made with bravado. Sometimes with desperate hope. But then it happens. The world is real.

Working in the real world, doing real things, you learn that there are consequences when the mind wanders or you are pre-occupied rather than focused on the task at hand.  If you're a potter at the wheel, and your mind wanders, so does the pot. If you are cutting along a line with the band saw and your mind wanders you'll likely screw up. These days we have a singular task, that of keeping each other safe. And while it's painful to be apart, the time will pass. Hope is on the way. For those who gather despite what we know to be true, there's forgiveness. We're human. We make mistakes. And we live through to brighter days.

There is a good reason for the use of hand tools. You are unlikely to mess something up when, for example, you are taking thin shavings from a piece of wood using a hand plane. A power tool places the work at greater risk. Another reason for hand tools is that they instill patience in the user. They are not for the hurry up get done folks, and patience learned from adjusting our minds and bodies to their use allows us to contend and be content with the difficult times we pass through.

I wish you all joy this holiday season. Be safe. Stay happy. Better times will come.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

a steel drivin' man

In the struggle, man vs. machine there's the legend of John Henry, immortalized in folk music and in songs by Pete Seeger and Johnny Cash. 

According to researchers he was a real person, a black prisoner whose labor  was leased to the railroad in Kentucky to dig a tunnel through solid rock. The "hammer man," John Henry would work with a "shaker man" as a drill bit was driven into a rock face for the insertion of dynamite for blasting. It was a job being taken over at time by steam drills, and to prove the efficiency of the steam drill, they wanted to test it against their best man. That was John. The shaker man's job was to shake the bit, to cause rock debris to fall from the hole, providing necessary clearance for the bit to go deeper into the hole. It's said that John Henry won the competition against the machine but lost his life, probably to silicosis and is likely buried in a ditch behind the prison, where if he was alive, he could hear the whistles of passing trains. While John Henry and his shaker man were able to drill 9 feet of hole, the steam drill could no more than 7 feet in the same amount of time, perhaps because it had no shaker man to remove debris.

The shaker man would stand where a missed hammer strike might hit his arm or hand, so it's not just John Henry's strength that came into play but his aim as well.

Where does all that fit in? Who knows. I'm still trying to figure things out. There's no doubt that machines can make things easier for us. Faster for sure. 

This morning I put a rather large router bit in my hand held router, and neglected to get it tightened enough. So the bit began to climb out of the collet, going too deep into the wood. I managed to stop just in time to prevent it from destroying the project. I changed to a different router bit profile and managed to save the project, and I like the second choice of profiles better than the first, so all's well. My friend Zane at Marc Adams School of Woodworking used to tell students, "hurry up so you'll have time to fix your mistakes." Fortunately the fix in my case was easy.

One of the lessons one learns in woodworking, and perhaps other crafts as well, is that self forgiveness is required. We are human and we make mistakes. Those mistakes can sometimes make things better so there's no point in getting too stressed out. And self-recrimination is a waste of time.

In the meantime, my Christmas wish for all is that we stay safe. We can celebrate double next year when we've weathered this terrible storm that keeps us apart.

Make, fix and create...

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Last day of Pop-up store.

This is the last day of the pop-up art store at 67 Spring St. in Eureka Springs. My work there is on sale at 25% off. On Monday the store will be dismantled for new gallery owners to move in. Stop by and see lovely works on display, today.

I have been going through my new book, Wisdom of our hands, and tweaking and refining my message to make it read more smoothly and its message more directly to the point. It is a lovely day in the Ozarks with a beautiful clear blue sky and I sit on our chilly, shaded front porch as I write, dog Rosie at my feet. She watches the woods with great concern that a squirrel might appear. 

In the woodshop I've dusted off my old Worth Machine, a multi-purpose tool that cuts a variety of woodworking joints. I've not used the machine in years, but it will come in very handy today for cutting slot mortise and tenon joints. The slot mortise joint is one in which a  machined part bridges between matching mortises in two pieces of wood. Sized properly and glued in place, it can be easier to use than a full mortise and tenon joint, and just as strong. 

The Worth machine is a classic and built for the ages. Ironically, they're rare enough at this point that it's difficult to find them even on the internet. My Worth Machine, invented by John Worth, though dusty, will be returned to service this afternoon, and will last another 30 years if I continue to take care of it.

Make, fix and create... 

Friday, December 18, 2020

On Sale at Eureka Pop-up Store

 I have put my boxes and sculptures on a 25% off sale at the Eureka Springs Christmas pop-up store at 67 Spring St. in Eureka Springs. you'll find other works by Eureka Springs artists just in time for Christmas gift buying.

Buy our work and support the arts.

Make, fix and create.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Alert to young mothers

Quercus Magazine 

has a lovely cover for the upcoming issue, January/Feb 2021 that shows a young woman teaching woodworking. Does that seem unusual? It should not. Educational Sloyd grew from the Kindergarten movement, and of course young women were the driving force in that. Pestalozzi and Froebel had each noted the importance of women's roles as teachers. Women were leaders in the introduction of Educational Sloyd in the US. Contrast that with the role that men played in industrial arts education which had as its primary goal, preparing young men for industrial employment. It seems that women were more inclined toward the education of the whole child.

I'll have an article in this issue describing the whittling of a sphere, the sphere or ball being one of the early gifts in  Froebel's scheme for early childhood education. Froebel was a lifelong whittler and wood craftsman.

Subscribers to American Woodturner Magazine, the publication of the American Association of Woodturners will find on page 47 of the current issue where I describe the making of a PVC tool holder that hangs on the wall by french cleat. We use this type of tool holder at both the Clear Spring School and the Eureka Springs School of the Arts. 

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning lifewise.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Saturday, December 12, 2020

the relationship between science and the arts

What is it about the use of the hands that makes man smart?

Jacob Bronowski described the hand as the cutting edge of the mind. The walls between the arts and sciences are paper thin. Both require the development of critical thinking skills and the power of close observation. In woodworking you can’t whittle a stick without making simple unspoken hypotheses having to do with the impact of the grain and the angle of the knife’s edge applied to the wood. Neither the knife nor the wood will lie about the results.What is intelligence without the practice of observation and critique? And what is intelligence if it does not allow us to better manage real life? 

We live these days in a world in which folks think it's just OK to make stuff up and in which you get to believe what you want and that if you can get others infected with your beliefs you've then found truth. I call BS. There is a real world and we live in it whether it pleases us or not.

Bronowski described the practice of the arts and the practice of science as being “explosions, of a hidden likeness. The discoverer or artist presents in them two aspects of nature and fuses them into one. This is the act of creation, in which an original thought is born, and it is the same act in original science and original art.”
"The most powerful drive in the ascent of man is his pleasure in his own skill. He loves to do what he does well and, having done it well, he loves to do it better. You see it in his science. You see it in the magnificence with which he carves and builds, the loving care, the gaiety, the effrontery. The monuments are supposed to commemorate kings and religions, heroes, dogmas, but in the end the man they commemorate is the builder." –– Jacob Bronowski, the Ascent of Man television series, 1973

Make, fix and create... 

Saturday, December 05, 2020

the interconnected web of all life

This article from the New York Times describes the interconnections between trees in a forest, suggesting the interconnections of all life, a thing suggested by some religions.

I have been making small chess pieces for my middle school class to go with the traveling chess boards we're making. Today I'll make a video to describe the process. The photo shows tiny rooks I've shaped for the students from maple and walnut. 

When will we also discover that children, like trees, do not stand alone in the forest? That we, too, are interconnected in ways we may never fully understand? Perhaps what must come first, will be a refusal to deny that we are indeed part of an interconnected web of all life, a thing Froebel described in his word, Gliedganzes, meaning member, whole. We are each members of a wholeness, and education, at its best, directs us toward that understanding.

Make, fix and create.

Thursday, December 03, 2020

On Narrative

This is a repost from a few years back. 

The first characteristic of narrative is what Jerome Bruner describes as its "inherent sequentiality: a narrative is composed of a unique sequence of events, mental states, happenings involving human beings as characters or actors." Bruner's second feature of narrative is that it can be "real" or "imaginary" without loss of its power as a story. Hence the power of well crafted fiction. Bruner's third crucial feature is that "it specializes in forging links between the exceptional and the ordinary." That which is canonical or normal and by the rules, or noncanonical, breaking or transgressing the expected norms.

My point, in case you didn't already guess, is that narrative may be as strongly present in hand crafted work as in speech and written discourse, and in some cases can be more powerful. We place far greater value as a culture on written or spoken narrative and place far greater emphasis in education on discursive narrative than on that which is expressed by hand. And so part of coming to better terms with the value of crafted work lies in understanding its narrative role in human culture. Our objects describe who we are, where we are going, and the means through which we will arrive at our greatest potential.

I offer these photos above and below of a piece of furniture showing narrative qualities in conformity with what Bruner outlines above. Dr. Bruner and I discussed whether craft work was narrative or not, with him taking one angle and me the other.

You will note that this table connects normal and unusual or exceptional elements in the same work. The contrast between the natural edged top board and the more conventional mortised and tenoned base is an example. While some viewers familiar with the process of crafting such work would know the sequence of operations the work records and describes, a casual viewer is drawn to skim or read it sequentially, just as one might skim or read a published text. Each and every piece of hand-crafted work is autobiographical in that it records and describes the maker's character as well as his motions in making the piece. The meander cut through the center of the board is used symbolically in a fictional representation of a river or stream, while also allowing use of a traditional technique--the sliding dovetail joint. And so, I hope my regular readers will understand that story telling, the foundation of human culture, is not just something that happens through words alone, but can take place whenever the human hand goes to work on wood.
Make, fix and create...

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

An announcement

Following a press release at 10 AM this morning, I'm allowed to mention that our Eureka Springs School of the Arts is being provided a 10 million dollar endowment through the Arkansas Community Foundation that will assure its success and service for generations to come. Some of my readers will know that I was one of three co-founders of the school, so I share this joy with co-founders Mary Springer and Eleanor Lux and all those who've served the growth of the school over the past 22 years. The relationship between ESSA and the Windgate Foundation that's responsible for this large gift grew from my friendship with John and Robyn Horn, artists in Little Rock. 

As a friend of Robyn and a board member at ESSA, I've been involved in all the Windgate Foundation gifts to the school, and have had a hand in many of the developments on campus, including the acquisition of our school's 50 plus acre campus, and the initial designs for our school wood shop and our recently added onsite instructor housing.

The gift, providing long term operations funding, will allow us to focus our fund raising attention on additional campus improvements, innovative programming and scholarship support.

Artists wonder how their work will be regarded in years to come. Will it be kept or discarded? Being involved helping other artists evolve in their work and now seeing that this part of what I've helped build will go on for generations makes this a very  meaningful moment in my life.

Years ago, Tom Begnal, an editor from Fine Woodworking,  asked me why I didn't start my own woodworking school like so many other authors were doing. It is so much better to have built something with friends. Having my own school would have been such a lonely thing in comparison to what we've done.

There are still openings in my lecture class tomorrow afternoon presented through zoom. You can sign up here:

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning lifewise.


Monday, November 30, 2020

This week...

Today my 5th and 6th grade students began sanding some of their travel sized chess pieces. On Wednesday I have a one hour ESSA lecture scheduled. The link here will carry you to details.

I've been at work on a second draft of my book, Wisdom of our hands which offers advice to woodworkers, but also lays a reasonable course for civilization. In the course of digging through the blog which has been my way of keeping notes on the subject, I ran across this unpublished poem from Jerome Bruner that he sent me in 2011.

Let us honor if we must
The right hand's well constructed thrust,
Though note ye well, lest you be cleft,
By surprises kindled from the left.

I asked Dr. Bruner if his poem was about boxing, but it was actually inspired by a poem about death by W. H. Auden which if you think about it is exactly backwards from what happens in the ring.

Let us honor if we can
The vertical man,
Though we honor none
But the horizontal one

Dr. Bruner passed away in 2016 at the age of 101. It makes me realize how lucky I was to have communicated with such an illustrious figure in Psychology and to have been the first to publish (online) his poem. His poem will be included in the new book.

Make, fix and create.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

what we see, what we say...

I got an inquiry this morning about an operation in one of my books in which the reader asked for clarification in making a particular box. What you see in a photo doesn't necessarily convey all that you are required to know. In this case, reading would have helped. We may all be guilty of this. We see a photo and the mind fills in the blanks, in the assumption things are so simple we fully understand, when in fact we may not.

I encounter this all the time teaching. My students see something that looks easy, when in actual fact, there are things about the operation they may not understand without having first made their own mistakes.

For example, in making a Soma Cube Puzzle, one of my students had a puzzle piece break off, but it was because he had glued end grain to side grain, a thing I had explained in the video. When you orient the grain in two pieces side to side moving in the same direction, the glue joint is as strong as the wood itself. That's far from true if you glue pieces cross grained.

We were showing my 4th and 5th grade students the video of how to assemble their chessboard veneer patterns for the third time, and I had clearly stated that it would work out best if they paid attention to grain orientation, making the grain in the various pieces to align in the same direction. The reason I had suggested that was because if I had any errors in cutting pieces to length, those errors would not compound as the various pieces were put into place. Some got that message. Most did not.

We're becoming a see-it, do it world where complexities are not observed, nor are they fully understood.

There was a reason that Diesterweg, Froebel, Cygnaeus, and Salomon planned that learning progress from the concrete to the abstract and from the simple to the complex, and that was to build up within the student a knowledge base that would form a foundation for all other learning. Without that experiential base upon which to build our understanding, there's no common sense, whether we're talking about the political realm or how to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

So here we are. Scott Atlas said that seniors should not be prevented from celebrating "their last thanksgiving" with loved ones. Loved ones rush home, not dreaming that at their last stop for gas they picked up the virus that will kill Granny. 

In the meantime, our own lovely county is a hot spot, and I'm hoping all will exercise extreme caution. In Fayetteville, not more than 50 miles from here they've set up refrigerator trucks to handle the overflow of bodies. I hoped it would never come to this, but with the lack of caution, we have only our own communities to blame. The vaccine is on the horizon, developed by dedicated scientists. We will prevail over the disease, only if we've kept each other safe. 

How much more thankful we will be next year when, with those we love still with us, we celebrate Thanksgiving 2021 together.

Be safe. Make, fix and create...

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

new series, art lectures

ESSA has announced a new series of online art lectures. I'll be the first in the series on Dec. 2 and you can register here: 

Participation will be online, via Zoom but enrollment is limited. Sign up soon.

I want to thank those who responded to my post inviting you to subscribe to my youtube channel. The number of subscribers went from 990 to 1038, pushing beyond the 1000 required for direct streaming.

Make, fix and create.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Wall Art...

I want to thank my friend Bob Rokeby for honoring my work as "wall art." It reminds me that I need to make more of these wooden ties. Several of my friends have them. Seeing the one hung as art reminds me of a friend who passed away a few years back. 

Members of the arts community in Eureka Springs will remember Zolli Page. she had made a point of showing me that her husband's tie, purchased in a charity auction, had a special place on her wall, surrounded by art.

Make, fix, and create. The world becomes a better place.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

live streaming?

I've learned that I can live stream from my youtube channel, but in order to be allowed to do it I have to have 1,000 subscribers. I have 990, so just 10 more. Becoming a subscriber would give you the opportunity to be notified when I have new videos to present or live demonstrations to be performed.  To subscribe, please go to

The advantage for me is that it would allow me to livestream demonstrations to my students at the Clear Spring School directly to students at home or through the classroom TV. Just 10 more and we're there.

The subscribers on my youtube channel have been growing steadily, so no need to subscribe unless you are interested in the content.

Make, fix and create.... assist others in learning lifewise.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Culture of Craft

Architects discuss the relationship of craft to their work. Interesting. But the closer they're brought together, the better.

Make, fix, and create...

Friday, November 20, 2020

I'm trying to understand...

We know that masks and social distancing help prevent the spread of coronavirus. If common sense was not enough to bring one to this understanding, there's plenty of evidence from scientific studies to confirm that masks work to keep us safe and to keep safe those we love as well.

And yet, there's a strong ideological resistance among some against being required to wear masks. These folks want the economy to open up wide with no restrictions in place. And those same folks are active in state legislatures and in the courts to prevent governors, mayors and county administrators from having the power to require masks and social distancing. The callousness of these folks is beyond measure.

Can they not stand up for their rights and urge the safety of others at the same time? For example, they might ask that folks be allowed to choose whether or not to wear masks, while also admitting risk of refusing to do so? While advocating for freedom, could they not also advocate for responsibility exercised for the protection of each other?

We are braced for a Thanksgiving like no other. Had we shut down for an additional two weeks in the spring, as painful as that would have been, it would have saved well over 200,000 lives and would have allowed us to move at this point, much closer to normal life.

I know that many people I care about are planning to share Thanksgiving with family and friends who will be put at risk by each other. Scott Atlas says that folks should just go ahead and enjoy Thanksgiving because for some it may be their last. Are you the one who wants to make sure that someone has their last Thanksgiving? Or can we look forward to next year with the knowledge that you've done your part to keep others safe?

There's a bit of common sense that comes from hands-on learning... Today I'm working on cedar boxes in the wood shop. The box in the photo is one I sold the other day on Etsy.

Make, fix and create. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Every now and then

Every now and then I get inquiries from folks wondering where to buy my work. So here's a list.

  • The Jewel Box, 40 Spring St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
  • Made in Eureka Springs Pop Up Holiday Store, 87 Spring St. Eureka Springs, AR 72632
  • Eurekan Art Studio and Shop, 150 N Main St, Eureka Springs, AR 72632 
  • Historic Arkansas Museum Store, 200 E 3rd St, Little Rock, AR 72201
  • Crystal Bridges Museum Store, 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR 72712   

In addition, I've loaded a number of pieces on my ETSY website. I've plenty of time to ship before the holidays.

Make, fix, and create. Assist others in learning likewise.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Some may remember...

 A man with strong ties to Eureka Springs was featured in an interview on CNN concerning the legitimacy of the 2020 election. Ben Hovland is the son of Barbara Harmony, a woman that many here knew from her work as an environmental activist and as a founder of the National Water Center here in Eureka Springs.

Ben Hovland is a elections specialist and attorney appointed by Donald Trump to oversee election security, his specialty. His interesting interview can be found here:

I knew Ben many years ago when he was just a very small child. He's grown and I'm sure Barbara who passed away this year would have been proud to have seen him on TV. I was.

Long before Barbara and I met, she had been an exchange student for a year in Sweden and had studied Sloyd.

Make, fix and create...

Friday, November 13, 2020

Making a chess board

This is a new video that I made today showing how to make a chessboard using walnut and maple tiles cut from solid wood. I've been making pieces for our 5th and 6th grade students to make their own chess boards. 

Make, fix and create... Assist others in learning likewise. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Currents Magazine - Winter 2020

Currents Magazine, a quarterly publication by the Carroll County News came out with an article about me yesterday. It's a free publication available in our local community at a variety of locations.  It will be available later online. 

Online watch for the Winter 2020 edition. Or look for it when you go grocery shopping in Eureka Springs or Holiday Island. 

My thanks to staff writer Haley Schichtl for writing a nice piece.

Make, fix and create... Assist others in learning likewise.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Crystal Bridges Gift Guide 2020

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has published a holiday gift guide with the featured objects being selected by museum store staff. My boxes are among the objects selected and you can find the Museum Store Gift Guide for 2020 here: 

Staff member Lee who chose my work for the guide said, "Talk about win-win. Not only are Doug Stowe wooden, hand-carved boxes handsome AND functional, but they will blend in beautifully in any decor. All your items will be so much happier nestled in a Doug Stowe box."

I am also taking part in a pop-up store in Eureka Springs that will open on Thursday and be open during the next two months. In the old location of Zarks, at 67 Spring St. My smaller boxes can be found this Christmas at The Jewel Box also on Spring St. and at Eurekan Art Co. on North Main. The boxes are unique, original and with a limited supply at all locations.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning likewise.


Early proponents of manual arts training, particularly of Educational Sloyd, and including John Dewey, believed that manual arts training was essential for all students, including those students from the upper class. These educators feared that a two-tier educational system would  perpetuate a two-tier society that would spell the end to democracy.

Woodrow Wilson before he became president of the US had been president of Princeton University and promoted the idea that we needed a small intellectual elite, and a much larger class or workers well trained to support them. So, as president, he signed the Smith-Hughes Act into law which set up separate manual training schools for that purpose, dividing the education of the hands from the education of the mind, making  folks less sensitive in both directions. The Smith-Hughes Act funded separate manual training schools and divided most schools along the lines of college prep and vocational training tracks.

One of the ideals proposed by Otto Salomon and others was that by all education building upon real experiences in manual arts, all students would gain a respect for the dignity of all labor. Wilson's approach turned labor into a commodity, to be bought and paid for while the pockets of the rich filled to bursting beyond any reasonable notion of real usefulness. The rich, not knowing the value of the working class, could not give a flip about their needs. So we have deep anger in America. And with Trump's refusal to concede the loss of the election, we witness the failure of education to provide deeper understanding. 

With a change of administrations, I hope we can again note and promote the value of manual arts training, not just to develop workers, but to develop a populace in which we show care for each other. 

The photo shows teachers in training at Salomon's teacher training academy in Nääs, Sweden. I want all to note the high proportion of women training to be teachers of woodworking sloyd.

Make, fix and create...

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Greta Thunberg Hears Your Excuses. She Is Not Impressed.

This is a great interview with Greta Thunberg, climate activist.

On my morning walk, with Rosie, I was thinking about a few things, largely in response to what I read. First off, changing our relationship with the environment and the damages human activities are causing to the global climate, thereby inflicting harm on every ecosystem and every populace, is never talked about in terms of conservation. 

We must learn to exercise thrift, even when the exercise of thrift curtails the flow of cash. Politicians want to buy our way out of the harm we inflict by investing in new stuff that's intended to allow us to consume planetary resources at an undiminished rate.

Secondly, woodworkers are sometimes thought of as being anti-environmental because we use wood as an alternative to plastic. And yet, I've always thought of myself as an environmentalist attempting to point out the beauty and value of our forests... thus hoping to awaken the urge to protect. My own efforts are certainly not enough but I've met many woodworkers who share my concerns.

Some of what's called for is a withdrawal when possible from our world's economy and a reinsertion of our resources into our local environments, asking those who can make from what grows here and there to make for us what we need. Or better yet, make for ourselves.

If you can't make it, perhaps you don't need it is a challenge none of us are capable of meeting yet. But Greta, in her clear way, uncluttered by the emotion we don't have time to indulge in, suggested that one of the most powerful tools we have comes in the comparison of ourselves with our neighbors. We need that level of competition. To be able to tell others, I only used this many kilowatts because I've chosen to limit my use of resources could help us to make real change. We live in an information age in which it is easy to be overwhelmed. But given the state of things, we need more information, not less. And this is particularly true with regard to our Covid-19 pandemic. We need more testing and more localized application of information. With that we could shut down only those parts of the economy that offer the greatest safe harbor for the deadly disease. With more localized information we would be better equipped to assess risk.

I was very pleased to have spent some time with Bill Coperthwaite a few years back, which I've mentioned in this earlier blog post. The photo is of Bill's 4 story yurt taken from the trail leading up to his home. Bill, a PhD from Harvard was drawn to buy his property by the potential of abundant free electric power generation. In the process, he discovered the power of his own body and opted for a simpler life.

Make, fix and create... Assist others in living likewise.

Saturday, November 07, 2020


President Lyndon B. Johnson once said, 
"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."
And so in that you can find the essence of our political divide. Race has been used as a means to divide us and for political parties to manipulate us and hold power. 

I'm reminded of a story from Zen. A man's wife had died and he offered money to the monks if they would recite the sutras in his wife's honor. But before he would give the money he asked for their guarantee that she would be the recipient of their blessings. The monks replied that when the sutras are recited all beings benefit. And so he man asked, can't you recite the sutras without benefitting that woman who lives across the street? And so, people often live narrow lives that hurt themselves and others at the same time.

At some point, I hope we can learn to see and feel the commonalities of humanity in each other regardless of religion and race. This is a day of joy for me. I know there are many who feel hurt by the outcome of this election. I hope we all can put our feet in other people's shoes and walk.

Make, fix and create...

Friday, November 06, 2020

Latvian TV

Jean and I were in Latvia just over two years ago and visited the KGB headquarters museum where they tortured and killed Latvian citizens in their effort to control the society. Latvia still has a large Russian populace, perhaps as many as 25% so Latvia has long been a target of Russian disinformation intended to disrupt their democracy and bring their small country back into the Russian State. 

The Latvians have a popular prime-time television program called "Theory of Lies" that attempts to debunk the popular lies coming from Russia. As we recover from this election, we need something similar in the US to counter the deliberate campaign of disinformation, the aim of which is to tear us apart and destroy our society. A translation of the program's website can be found here:

With the election nearly over let's find new ways to feel kindly toward each other.

Make, fix and create.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Lathe tool racks, full circle

Tool racks like I made for the Clear Spring School and then years later at ESSA will be featured in the December issue of American Woodturner. If you want an introduction to that project you can find it here:

There's kind of a funny story involved.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning likewise.

Monday, November 02, 2020

Rosie, wonder dog.

Rosie is my 75 lb. therapy dog, demonstrating the value of woodworking for keeping one's head on straight and one's nerves soothed. In case the video doesn't link on facebook, you can view here:

Make, fix and create. When enduring stressful times, get busy doing something real. It helps.

Sunday, November 01, 2020

The little dog toto moment

Do you remember that moment in the Wizard of Oz when little dog Toto pulled back the curtain to reveal the almighty wizard to be a short man quaking in his shiny shoes? With millions of voters going to the polls and millions casting their votes for the first time, and with the grace of god and with justice at our sides, we hope for the best. Take that mean man and his evil minions out of office and let us get on with our lives.

Forgive me for not writing much in my blog of late. Forgive me for paying less attention to simple things. With Covid-19 having been allowed loose, cases are rising dramatically everywhere that I know folks dear to me. And it has felt like I've been living and struggling to breathe under one of those vests they put on you when you're getting X-rays at the dentist's office. I know we are all trying to catch our breath at the end of such an outrageous time that's far from over yet. I'm bracing myself. There are the Russians trying to interfere as they did in the election of Donald Trump in 2016. There are Republicans working every angle to suppress the vote that they've known, if large, would not be in their favor. We have an Attorney General who will stop at nothing in his support of Trump and a Supreme Court that's lost all credibility.

My dog Rosie has been my saving grace. She makes me smile many times each day. She watches the woods for squirrels and brings branches in from the woods to chew and maintain a blissful state. To sit on the front porch with her reminds me that there are very many things right with the world.  And I remind myself that things can get better only if we act.

Do your work dear Toto, but we're not counting on just you. We vote.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

a nail box

I called one of our Arkansas senators yesterday (the reasonably sane and relatively humane one) and asked how he could continue to support a president and a party that actively works to suppress the workings of democracy. The receptionist told me that if I had concerns about our election I should call the Arkansas secretary of state. 

There's a huge disconnect in place. We worry as our democratic society goes down the drain, while Republicans plan new extreme measures to keep themselves in power, even going so far as to attempt to cripple the US mail. Even those Republicans who are not so extreme lack the courage to stand up. 

In the 1940's in response to the rise of fascism young men like my father, put their live on hold to go to war, and risking their own lives, thousands died. These days Republicans elected to public office refuse to stand up to President Trump even though all they have to do is stand up. They don't have to train for combat. They don't have to leave their families. They don't even have to leave the comfort of their homes. All they have to do is stand up on behalf of democracy. That doesn't even require real courage. It only takes honesty and decency to bring the wanna-be fascist dictator into check.

I have never felt so stressed and worried for our nation's future, so I give money to candidates who have concerns for democracy and health, and who have in their hearts the idea that we can work together to bring greater benefits to all and that governments can serve without outrage and division.

I am once again at work on my book, the wisdom of our hands, doing a second draft taking into consideration comments from my publisher. This gives me a chance to tighten things up, and make my points clear, while also improving the flow of words. Writing is just like any other craft. It gets better through practice, and the prototype is often not the better of products.

In the wood shop I've been preparing projects for kids. This last week my elementary level students made nail boxes to fit in their tool boxes and enjoyed the process. The photo shows one of those. My older students are studying geology and I'm preparing kits for them to make mineral collection boxes. To prepare for that I did a quick video to show the preparation of parts. My videos are low tech, unpolished, but at least offer students a better understanding of woodworking processes.

Make, fix, create. Please Vote if you've not done so already.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Making a nail box

I've published a short video on making a nail box for my students at the Clear Spring School to assemble and use in their tool boxes. 

A number of my books have been on the subject of box making, and coming up with new box designs is fun for me. 

This unusual design features angled ends that make picking up small nails from inside the box easy, as there are no tight corners where nails can get stuck. The magnet embedded in the handle/divider gives additional ease to picking up nails from inside.  The divider is offset to allow for nails of different sizes.

It is a design that I'm certain will interest my students and will be useful in their woodworking. Use the link below to view the video on youtube.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning lifewise.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

traveling chess sets.

A reader on facebook asked about the age of our students who made traveling chess sets. They were in fifth and sixth grades, and you can read more about the project on this page in my blog and see other photos from the process.

For those interested, the blog is a great source for projects, information about teaching, and advocacy for hands on learning. Started in 2006, it has had millions of page views. There is a search function at the upper left where you can type in a subject related to hands on learning and find earlier posts. 

The photo here shows building a pattern of maple and walnut squares, and surrounding them with strips of cherry veneer. The assembled pattern is then glued on a substrate of Baltic birch ply.

Today I'll be preparing materials for next week's classes, and working on a second draft of my new book, The Wisdom of our hands, crafting family, self, community and human culture.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning lifewise.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

With no clear end in sight let's find reason for hope

This New York Times opinion piece by gifted editorial writer Thomas Friedman looks forward to some of the changes that the Corona virus pandemic may bring.

What if we were all to use easy to acquire resources and tools to cut our ties from dependence on big corporations? We might each develop skills as makers and craftspeople of all kinds.

Yesterday as I was doing prep work in the Clear Spring School wood shop, one of my old students, Wyatt, came by. He's now a corporal in the Marines and married, living at Camp Pendleton. He still has many of the things he'd made in woodshop, including the chess set shown in the photo. We made the chess sets for use during school travel. Wyatt has played on his set with his dad for years. 

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning lifewise.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

for a fair selection

Other woodworking teachers will be interested in this website hosted by Woodcraft Co. to benefit those few woodworking teachers left.

The cartoon illustrates the absurdity of standardized testing in American schools.

Make, fix and create... assist others in learning lifewise.


Friday, October 16, 2020

Woodworking with Kids Volume 2, number 2

I just sent out my email newsletter Woodworking with Kids, Volume 2, Number 2. You can subscribe through this link:

The photo shows the type of hall table I'm making in my home wood shop.

Make, fix and create... Assist others in learning lifewise.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

finished buddy bench

We finished making buddy benches yesterday. I  attended and supervised the first and second grade class via google meets. The benches turned out strong and cute, and the students are very proud of their work.

In the old days, I might have been questioned for doing so much of the work, but welcome to the real world. No craftsman is an island unto him or herself. We are all supported and encouraged and "scaffolded" by others. I remember taking pottery classes both at Hasting College and at Memphis State, and realizing that if I were to work on my own, I would need a wheel, knowledge of where to get supplies and the means to acquire them, and a kiln to go along with the skills I was learning. Then, once pottery was made, I would need a means to sell what I'd made. Each of these components would be dependent on others.

So perhaps the greater lesson in wood shop and in life is that of learning to work with others toward shared goals that align with personal interest.

Make, fix and create... assist others in learning lifewise.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Building a buddy bench

Today at the Clear Spring School, first and second grade students will be assembling buddy benches. What are buddy benches? When you feel alone, you can sit on one, and be joined by another, thus assuring you're not alone. These are being made from weathered white oak, and will likely last no more than a couple seasons or so. But that will give us the excuse to make more when we have a fresh group of first and second grade students.

I'll be instructing the class via google meets, so have prepared a tutorial covering the making of them. It's roughly done but can be found on my youtube channel. 

Many of the steps involved require greater strength and skill than would be found in an elementary school student. So this is a cooperative project with children and adults working together toward a common goal.

In my own shop I'm building "torsion tables" using a simple technique of my own invention. I've given them that name due to rods used to stabilize the design. The table base is held together with turned front to back cross members, tenoned on each end with holes drilled to allow for the addition of the rods that triangulate the structure. Because the tables are a unique design, I'll attempt to interest various woodworking magazines in allow me to write an article about making them. The photo shows the turning of a basic part.

Make, fix and create.


Thursday, October 08, 2020

first dibs?

A gallery that sells my work asked about a hall table they'd sold a number of years ago, wondering if I had more. The one they sold was part of my response to the Bush Era economic collapse. Remembering depression era furniture, made of scrap wood when furniture makers had very little to work with, I raided the barn where I keep various woods. As a result, I made and sold almost a dozen tables that year, while the economic prospects appeared nearly hopeless.

And so, not having exhausted my supply of beautiful and interesting woods, and not having wasted the knowledge and aesthetic judgement required, I've begun making two tables. Let me know if you want one. Between the two (and a reasonable price), you can have first dibs. The tops are made of soft maple that's spalted. The worm holes, sealed with epoxy, are free.

Yesterday I resupplied Crystal Bridges Museum store with a supply of boxes.

Make, fix and create... assistant others in learning likewise.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Woodworking at home or in school with kids.

Woodworking at home or at School with kids, Volume 2, number one is out now and can be found here.

Make, fix and create...

Friday, October 02, 2020

Carving a spoon knife

This is a video  produced today for my students at the Clear Spring School. The full playlist of 9 segments can be accessed here:

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning lifewise.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Irregular blocks

Our lower elementary school teacher Rigdon asked me if I could make some irregularly shaped blocks for his students to explore. I struggled in my mind how to make enough of them without spending long hours at a sanding machine. The solution came to me, as many thoughts do, in the quiet laying awake time at 3AM. 

I remembered a cedar log that I had in the woods, and that by simply splitting it, irregular staves could be quickly produced. Then only minutes at the band saw would turn each irregular stave into short irregular blocks. While these are not exactly what Rigdon had showed me in the first place, he assured me that these are even better. And as one student suggested, "they smell good!" too.

I suggested that they be used the same way that Froebel used his blocks, suggesting that the students create forms of beauty, forms of knowledge, and forms of life to represent the important things in their lives.

The blocks are a hit. You can make them yourself with a short piece of cedar log, a splitting maul and a band saw.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning likewise.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

tool box kits..

I have finished making tool box kits for our Clear Spring School elementary school students, and will offer lessons for their assembly under the guidance of their core classroom teachers. Today I also made 24 sanding blocks for use by our students, and these sanding blocks will go into the students' tool boxes for use on other projects, along with the student's own hammers. I believe that every child should have their own tools. The kits will be delivered on Monday to the core teachers for use later in the week.

The writings of Adolf Diesterweg were the source for Otto Salomon's principles of Educational Sloyd as you will discover in the following passage. 
Teach naturally! Organize instruction according to the natural developmental stages of the children. Start teaching from the pupil's point of view and direct his progress steadily, firmly and thoroughly. Do not teach anything for which the pupil is not yet ready and do not teach anything with which he is already familiar. Teach in a lively manner. Proceed from the familiar to the unusual, from the simple to the complex, from the easy to the difficult, from the known to the unknown. Do not teach in an academic way (in other words, the lecture-type teaching methods used in higher educational institutions), but simply! Always remember that you are aiming at the abstract (increasing the intellectual capacity) and the material (provision of the curriculum) at the same time.—Adolph Diesterweg 
Diesterweg also advised the educator, "Learn to do by doing." That is good advice for anyone wanting to start woodworking with kids. You will notice that children and adults follow the same sequence in learning. And yet schools are too often designed while ignoring student needs.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning lifewise.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

designing education with a better outcome in mind

A friend began the arduous process of examining the Arkansas Democratic and Republican platforms for education and found them to be rather meaningless documents, suggesting things like, "We want a world-class education for all our children, regardless of zip code." So what is a world-class education? And which world are they thinking of? Is world-class to be measured by the standardized PISA testing? Lots of work to do there with the US ranking down in the middle of the pack and well behind other developed nations.

Yes, I know party platforms are generally meaningless documents, but it is particularly disturbing to me, that the education upon which our future depends is so poorly adressed. The differences between the parties fall more closely along the lines of certain issues without either considering the needs of our kids except in very vague terms. 

Republicans in general favor charter schools as a way of disrupting public education, and Democrats in general would prefer that public schools be strengthened rather than having their funding siphoned away by for profit charter schools. Republicans in general want everything privatized while Democrats in general favor strong public institutions. We don't learn those particular things from the party platforms but from their performance.

So I've been attempting to address the current problems with education at large.

The apparent purpose of education is to get children out from underfoot and safely corralled so their mothers can work two or three jobs at poverty wages to keep children clothed and fed. The professed purpose is always "to lift every child." But if that were the case, schools would be vastly different from what they are today. The real reforms needed are a very long ways off from current thinking by either party. The dividing line between the parties falls on how enthusiastically they embrace the charter school and privatization of movement as it competes with public education. My daughter got her masters degree in education by a rigorous program in "classroom management," a thing made necessary by schooling that ignores how and why we learn. I say "we" learn because all, whether children or adults, learn for the same reasons and in the same manner. If we think about and recognize how we learn, we know better how to set up situations in which our children learn. As I learned from a student years ago, we all love learning, but have less positive feelings about "being taught."

But how do we reshape a party platform? There is a vast amount of information that links poor educational outcomes (measured by numbers of students failing to graduate from high school or college) to poverty. The more time a child spends in poverty, the less likely he or she will find success in schooling (or should I say, "in being schooled." What we fail to recognize is what Friedrich Froebel pointed out about 180 years ago... Children begin learning from day one, and their mothers and fathers are in fact, their first teachers. Parents in poverty do not have the time or energy to fulfill this vital function. As children enter day care, mothers and fathers in poverty are too busy and stressed out to provide needed and traditional learning support. Then as children reach school age, the parent of the affluent child is able to provide a vast array of enriching experiences that also build support for in-school learning, thus again placing the children of the poor at a disadvantage. We then expect teachers and schools in poor communities to repair the failings of society to provide equitable conditions for student growth.

So, the idea or ideal of having schools that lift each and every child to an equal level of opportunity can only come through serious efforts to reduce poverty and raise a better understanding of the parents' role as teachers. Neither party has a good track record. For example, while Hillary was writing "it takes a village", her hubby was busy sending fathers to prison, and mothers off welfare to work while Republicans are attempting to raise standards by standardized testing schemes and privatization at public expense. I don't think that we could get either party to agree to what needs to be a complete revolution in education. Classroom learning is outmoded and has been outmoded and inefficient since the 1800's. So the platform can only take small steps.
  1. Support high levels of teacher training and teacher autonomy. 
  2. Elevate teacher pay and status within their communities. 
  3. Reduce class sizes (in half). 
  4. Support a corp of teacher aids, enabling a reduction of class size, by utilizing paid teachers in training drawn from university education students.
  5. Arrange for students at all levels to do real things in support of family, community and culture.... Dewey's learn by doing real things.
  6. Shatter the alliance between standardized testing and individual schools and school districts, allowing educational outcomes to be diverse. 
  7. Arrange for manual arts training for all students beginning in elementary school, focused on the integration of hand, eye and mind, allowing thereby to engage students in building an aptitude for scientific exploration, thereby building a respect for all labor and the contributions of others, and also providing a variety of pathways toward student success.

Paralleling this effort. 

  1.  Reduce poverty. 
  2.  Provide for extended maternity and medical leave. 
  3. Raise wage rates for the bottom tier. 
  4. Support programs though local community libraries for mother and early childcare training. 
  5.  Encourage lifelong learning through community colleges and online learning opportunities. 

Think this is an expensive proposal? Not doing these things will be worse.

Make, fix and create... We all learn best lifewise.

Monday, September 21, 2020

The school of tomorrow, today

Readers of Popular Woodworking Magazine will find an excerpt from my new book The Guide to Woodworking With Kids in the November issue that should be arriving in their homes any day now. Note the title of the article, please.

The following is from John Dewey's book, The Schools of Tomorrow, 1915.

"... In schools where the children are getting their knowledge by doing things, it is presented to them through all their senses and carried over into acts; it needs no feat of memory to retain what they find out; the muscles, sight, hearing, touch, and their own reasoning processes all combine to make the result part of the working equipment of the child. Success gives a glow of positive achievement; artificial inducements to work are no longer necessary, and the child learns to work from love of the work itself, not for a reward or because he is afraid of a punishment. Activity calls for the positive virtues—energy, initiative, and originality—qualities that are worth more to the world than even the most perfect faithfulness in carrying out orders. The pupil sees the value of his work and so sees his own progress, which spurs him on to further results. In consequence his mistakes do not assume undue importance or discourage him. He can actively use them as helps in doing better next time. Since the children are no longer working for rewards, the temptation to cheat is reduced to the minimum. There is no motive for doing dishonest acts, since the result shows whether the child has done the work, the only end recognized. The moral value of working for the sake of what is being done is certainly higher than that of working for rewards; and while it is possible that a really bad character will not be reformed by being placed in a situation where there is nothing to be gained excepting through an independent and energetic habit of work, the weak character will be strengthened and the strong one will not form any of those small bad habits that seem so unimportant at first and that are so serious in their cumulative effect."

Why do educational policy makers insist on ignoring that which we all know to be true? Is the purpose of schooling to lift each child, or to subdue them, or to only lift those who are properly subdued? Bob Dylan had written about being "bent out of shape by society's pliers." Was he thinking of school when he wrote that line?

Make, fix and create....

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Making a tool box


This short video shows the assembly of a simple tool box. I have other videos on my youtube channel.

Make, fix and create... assist others in learning lifewise.


Saturday, September 19, 2020

child-centered pedagogy

This morning as I was investigating the concept of cultural recapitulation, I read an interesting paper, "The Savage Origins of Child-Centered Pedagogy, 1871–1913," The author suggests that because a number of the proponents of progressive education were racists, therefore progressive education should be best understood as racist in its origins. This would require us to assume the worst of many of the founders of the progressive education movement. 

To focus on the needs and interests of the individual child is the origin of progressive education. And so I'm reminded of the greater minds and hearts, Pestalozzi, and Froebel.

Proposing my own extremely unfair generalization, there are two models of education. One applies a gentle touch and the other the firm hand of authoritarianism. One trusts the student to grow from his or her own natural inclination to grow and learn. The other insists that learning has to be imposed by the "wiser" outside authorities, political and cultural. One trusts the child, the other does not.

Psychologist G. Stanley Hall was one of the racists identified in the paper identified as a proponent of progressive education. He was also one of the founders of modern psychology, so do we then assume that modern psychology is also racist? G. Stanley Hall was also one of the authorities promoting standardized testing upon which much of modern schoolings is based. Should we also assume that standardized testing is inherently racist? There's a great deal of evidence that it is. 

When I was in elementary school we lived for a year in North Little Rock, Arkansas and for fun we would walk to a local quarry and look under rocks to find snakes. There were a lot of them. The bigger the rock, the bigger the snake. But they were not under every rock. And it seems like these days as we attempt to redeem the soul of our nation, there are lots of racists crawling around and there's a need to examine our own hearts.

I was interviewed yesterday by our local paper because of a letter I had written about Confederate flags decorating the graves of former Confederate soldiers buried in our local cemetery. I noted that many of the young men who fought in the Civil War on the Confederate side were conscripts, forced to fight for a cause in which they did not believe, the preservation of slavery and white supremacy. The vote to succeed from the Union was narrow and did not take into consideration the slaves who were not allowed to vote. 

Now, a group of folks is allowed to come each year to "honor" the Confederate dead by placing flags on their graves. But how many of those who were conscripted to fight in the "lost cause of the Confederacy" would feel honored, or if they were alive in modern times feel either embarrassed or ashamed? And how many of their descendants would prefer they be honored for their participation in the "lost cause" rather than for the many other accomplishments of their own lives? Does their conscription to serve a lost cause have to be continued even to this day?

Today I'm working on a video of assembling a simple tool box for kids. So I've got my camera set up in my finish room and I'm taking short videos that will be assembled with minimal editing into a video that will then go directly to youtube for distribution to my students. You will also find it on my youtube channel.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning lifewise.