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Friday, September 8 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Truths to Tools

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An Introduction to the Language of the Artisans. The industrial revolution not only eclipsed hand skills and replaced them with automation, but it also silenced a common design language that artisans had shared through an oral tradition for millennium. This was a rich and powerful geometry-based language of rational (i.e. able-to-be ratioed), human-scaled proportions developed in the most ancient civilizations and ultimately embedded in the DNA of Grecian architecture. In just a couple of generations into the 19th century this anthropomorphic system nearly disappeared as the design process moved away from the language of traditional artisanship to the mathematical (i.e. irrational number) language of industrial engineering. Woodworkers (as did workers in many other trades) saw not only their skills drift toward obsolescence, but the very act of design itself. This presentation shows how we can recapture the spacial, right-brained language of the pre-industrial artisans and re-open the door to the inherent abilities that each of us has to create durable and beautiful designs at the “Point of a Tool.”.


Jim Tolpin

After more than thirty years of working at woodworking for a living… and after having written more than a dozen books on the subject that have sold more than three-quarters of a million copies… I am now teaching woodworking for a living at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking... Read More →

Friday September 8, 2017 2:30pm - 3:30pm PDT
Boatyard Stage