Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The intelligence of a carpenter

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Tools not only act on material but with experience become a vehicle for learning about the properties of materials themselves. As well, one learns about force and function, design and structure. Brain, hand, tool, wood become a complex cybernetic system, information flowing back and forth in action…

“The hammer,” claims carpenter and writer Jeff Taylor, “…changes the way you think.” The use of tools over time contributes to a bodily, material physics and mechanics, to a rich knowledge of assembly and repair, and to a problem-solving orientation toward the built environment. This knowledge is manifest in the workshop. I sensed it before I could put words to it—and Richard Gregory’s observation about tools embodying solutions to problems helped guide my expression. There is intelligence in the surround, poised, so to speak, for purposeful action.

Mike Rose, The Mind at Work

Written by nevalalee

November 3, 2012 at 9:50 am

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