MAKE: Wisdom in Wood

Eli Whitney Museum

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Vacation Program

  • Thursday, September 25, 2014
  • 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Designed for ages 6 to 12

In 1865, Uno Cygnaeus, a Finnish cleric and educator, devised system of craftwork (Slöjd) to be integrated into the classrooms of 9-14 year olds. His goal was not vocational preparation (that’s known as the Russian system.) Cygnaeus believed that the intrinsic pleasure of making practical and beautiful objects offset the stern Lutheran drill of 19th Century classrooms. He believed that the discipline of working wood sharpened observation, reinforced persistence and self-reliance, taught the nature of learning, and linked students to their community. Lofty goals. But notice that Finland and other countries that preserve the Slöjd heritage top lists of the world most effective education systems.

We have adapted Slöjd lessons for young hands. Find pleasure in making practical and beautiful things. Plane, saw, bore (with a a brace and bit), sand and finish a clever puzzle. Saw, whittle (safely)**, and paint a Wood Gnome. And select your own project (beginner and advanced) to craft with the new (also very old) tools you have learned to use.

Guest Artist: Sylvie Rosenthal Former apprentice and currently a remarkable woodworker and artist.

* MAKE. Because... is a a year long initiative to explore the common origins of the MAKE Movement and the Museum’s experimental learning activities. We will consider the traditions, the philosophies, and the cultures that value practical learning as a legacy to be preserved and as essential preparation for change and the future.

**Not all tools will be used by all ages. We will divide the group into younger and older in order to offer alternative tools and skills for very young hands.

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