Wednesday, February 05, 2020


I was asked kindly for my qualifications to teach a 5 day class in making small cabinets for a community college. They wanted to know whether I had a degree which would have been useful in meeting their accreditation standards. I told them:

 I have a degree in political science, a BA in 1970. I've been a professional woodworker since 1975. I'm nationally known for having published over 100 articles in national publications on the subjects of woodworking (for adults) and k-12 education. I've published 13 books for nationally known publishers in the woodwork field, two of which were translated into German. I was named an Arkansas Living Treasure in 2009 and have served on a furniture design critique panel for the University of Arkansas School of Architecture. I've taught woodworking in major craft schools like Arrowmont and the Marc Adams School of Woodworking and for 19 years have directed the Wisdom of the Hands Program at the Clear Spring School with students from pre-K through 12th grades. I'm the author of the Taunton Press book Building Small Cabinets and have taught Building Small Cabinets at ESSA, at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers, the Diablo Woodworkers in the SF Bay area, and at the Kansas City Woodworking Guild. I also did a Building Small Cabinets DVD for Taunton Press. An MFA in the Arts would not make me better qualified to teach this course.

Yesterday my students worked excited in wood shop. One of my younger students struggled to glue two pieces of wood together end on, thinking that if a bit of glue didn't do the job, more might. In wood working we learn about the real world and real constraints within our material environment. There is a difference between real life learning and the conceptualized and artificialized environment of typical education. And typical education at all learning levels would benefit from being held to the standard of doing real things.

The lovely piece of furniture shown was just completed by my good friend Bob Rokeby.

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

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