Monday, March 30, 2020

a review

I sent a review pdf of my new Guide to Woodworking with Kids to a very dear friend in Sweden, who had been my guide and host at Nääs, Sweden, the home of Educational Sloyd.

Though quite elderly, Hans Thorbjörnsson, wrote the following:
"Your creation Guide to Woodworking with Kids is a remarkable creation. You have brought The Teacher's Handbook(Salomon's) ... and The Theory of Educational Sloyd into the 21st century - in a much better version. Lots of photos of high quality, very instructive and filled with interested children. Drawings so easy to understand that even Rosie can use them. And best of all - your text caracterized by your passion for educational sloyd and it's good fruits, especially the co-ordination between hands och brain, Wisdom of the Hands.

"The models are adapted to children's and young students'interests, much better than Salomon's dusty ones. Carl Malmsten - remember his criticism - is applauding you from designers' heaven.

"Educational sloyd and good woodworking are most essential in our digital time. You have done your best and I feel happy to have seen it happen before I close my eyes."
Hans, a historian and teacher, had written books about Educational Sloyd and Nääs. When I met him, he was the curator of Otto Salomons library at Nääs and he has been my correspondent for years as I've delved into the history and methods of Educational Sloyd.

In his note Hans makes reference to Carl Malmsten, a Swedish designer craftsman who had been at Nääs, and later became James Krenov's teacher, and through that had a tremendous effect on American woodworking. Malmsten had caused great dissention at Nääs, as he tried to bring Sloyd forward into the 20th century. His ideas and ideals of fostering the child's creativity and responding more directly to the interests of the child were not well received at the time.

In my own shop, I'm working on designs for a bathroom bench, and preparing lessons for my next newsletter.

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

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