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Posts tagged with “education”

Get Your House Right

It’s easy to distinguish between a two-hundred-year-old colonial house and a modern imitation—and not just because McMansions are puffed-up and super-sized. There’s a mysterious quality in a well-designed home—grace, proportion, something almost ineffable about the way they look “right.” Many older homes share that mysterious quality; few modern ones do. Read the full article…

The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades

Education with a purpose; where no one is left behind

In the modern world, we value college degrees over trade-school know-how; and our educational system—and our country—pays the price. The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades is a good example of effective education, education that actually works, where, truly, no child is left behind; and where success—both for educators and students—is easy to track: at Williamson, nearly every graduate who wants a job gets a job, and that is a great measure of success. Read the full article…

Review: Katz Roadshow in Bellingham

On the only cold, rainy day of the month so far, I made the trip “across the line” to Bellingham, Washington to attend a Katz Roadshow event at a local builder supply store, Builder’s Alliance. I spent the better part of the day in an outdoor makeshift meeting room, surrounded by lifts of plywood and lumber stacked twenty feet high. It was cold, but we were covered and somewhat protected from the wind—you see, I had my Kilt on, and that meant bare legs, brrrr. Fortunately, the show more than made up for the chilly weather. Read the full article…

An Award-Winning Letter

“How I built a reputation that is now worth money to me as a builder”
A reprinted article from American Carpenter & Builder, July, 1912.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Jeff K. Burks for the tremendous effort he makes to discover, copy, and share these jewels! Years ago, Jeff introduced me and countless other carpenters to C Howard Walker’s seminal book, The Theory of Moldings. Here, Jeff provides us with a telescopic view of the past: timeless lessons that carpenters should heed today about building better business practices. Read the full article…

Shop Class as Soulcraft

A book every craftsman should read

“What sort of personality does one need to have, as a twenty-first-century mechanic, to tolerate the layers of electronic bullshit that get piled on top of machines?”
–Matthew Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft: Penquin Press, 2009

I recently taught a class on Mastering the Miter Saw to a group of mixed-age students at the West Valley Occupational Center, near my home in Los Angeles. I’ve volunteered to teach classes there before. The instructors teach drafting, framing, electrical, drywall—a general hands-on course covering everything about construction with blackboard backup. It’s a great program for anyone new to the trades. But I was surprised to find the class stalled by a lack of building materials. One instructor was digging into his own pocket to keep his class going. Read the full article…

Terminating Versus Supporting Moldings

If I were to say: “Hi are how you? Brent I’m Hull.” You might wonder what I drank for breakfast. I mean, you’d recognize the words, they’d sound familiar, but the way I used them wouldn’t make any sense. But if I said: “Hi, how are you? I’m Brent Hull,” you’d respond without a hitch, my words would make perfect sense (depending on what you drank for breakfast!).

Well guess what? There is a language to classical design, too; a vocabulary that’s dependent on moldings for communicating purpose in a room. If you speak the language, all your finish work—your, bookcases, mantelpieces, doorways, and ceilings―will communicate fluently with your customers. Read the full article…