The need for students of woodworking to grasp the fundamentals of furniture drawing as outlined by Gustav Stickley.
¶ In order to make the training of any real value, it is absolutely necessary that the student begin simultaneously with mechanical drawing and the application of its principles to his work as he goes along. If he began with simple models to which could be applied the elementary lessons in mechanical drawing, the laying out of plans, the reading of detail drawings and the like, and would also afford a chance to demonstrate lessons in the use of the square, the level, the saw and the plane ; a good foundation would be laid not only for the understanding of right principles of construction but for the accurate use of tools. A boy trained in this way would be able in future years to put his knowledge to almost any use that was needed. Instead of this the students endeavor to make something that is interesting and that shows well at home or in an exhibition.
¶ In fact, the situation now is very much as it would be if a student of music were to take two or three lessons in the rudiments and then endeavor to play a more or less elaborate composition. There is no question as to the benefit that boys, and girls too, derive from being taught to work with their hands; but it is better not to teach them at all than to give them the wrong teaching. No one expects a schoolboy or an amateur worker of any age to make elaborate furniture that would equal similar pieces made by a trained cabinet maker. But if the student be taught to make small and simple things and to make each one so that it would pass muster anywhere, he learns from the start the fundamental principles of design and proportion and so comes naturally to understand what is meant by thorough workmanship.
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