Craftsmanship is a value worth preserving


Throughout the years of technological evolution and progression the values of craftsmanship have been diminishing and declining in schools almost everywhere. This can not be allowed to happen further.

I strongly believe that woodworking should be a required skill for students in both the public and private school systems, because it helps progress young students with skills and knowledge that will develop them further as young learners and individuals.

A student’s ability to build and create something with his or her own hands is becoming a bit of a lost art in the world of today. To start with a piece of rough ugly stock and to give a person the tools to help shape and  slowly morph it into a straight, clean and assembled idea. To hand create a beautiful piece of art is a very self satisfying and fulfilling process. There is nothing quite like looking at a finished project and being able to say “I made that”.

One of the best feelings a student can have is knowing how hard they worked to craft something unique and beautiful on their own, and being commended for it by peers and teachers alike. For a lot of students who struggle academically, or have been told they have learning disabilities because of their less advanced progression, this class is a lifeline.

These children are not stupid or defective, people learn and observe information differently, and woodworking provides a hands on learning environment for those whose minds require it – people like myself. A kid who has struggled in the standard academic path needs to be given their opportunity to flourish and extend their knowledge.

People often forget that schools is as much about finding yourself and sculpting your future as it is about learning and knowledge. Feeling the success of finishing a project, or carrying out an idea, is incredibly important. That being said, the importance of failure can not be understated. I have always found that you learn the most about yourself through loss and failure. Knowing you made a mistake and facing it is one of the hardest things we have to do in life, but not all people, adults and young adults, possess the ability to do so. To look failure in the face and surrender to it, knowing you did your best is a lesson everyone needs to learn in their lifetime. As without failure there can be no redemption.

In woodworking, as in many art forms, you will make mistakes, you will make fixable and unrecoverable errors, you will change ideas and scrap projects, but there will always be another piece of wood. There will always be another chance for a fresh start, a new beginning. Which is a large reason why the art of craftsmanship is the single most important life skill for minds of all ages to experience. Having access to this in early life will only help progress us for the better. This skill is especially important for students with struggling social skills or low self esteem because it allows them to express themselves in their own way through a path that doesn’t require words.  

In a generation of technology, where everything is available and every one can forge an identity and purvey their opinion through a means of self expression and performance; if a person still feels isolated or that no one understands them, that can be devastating both mentally and physically. For those kids who feel like when they talk people don’t listen, that no one fully understands what they are trying to say, or for those who feel like they have no identity, the ability for that young man or woman to put themselves into a project and make it their own is invaluable.

To start with an image in their mind’s eye and project it into reality through means of only them and their hands is an incredible realization. The realization that they can envelop themselves in this art form and ingrain who they are with every stroke of a chisel, and every brush of a planer. That through craftsman ship comes an otherwise inaccessible sense of pride and self exploration.