Chapter 2 1901 - 1910 Motivations for woodworking: a) hours of work and leisuretime; b) disposable income; c) other factors

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[under construction 2-3-09]

Constraints of "Leisure Time"

Hours of work still hovered in the 60-hours per week range, so the definition of "leisure time" during this  era had substantial constraints upon anyone's desire to engage in woodworking as a hobby. Likewise, disposable incomes limited the luxury of a hobby to an elite few.

"Professional men", Gustav Stickley recommended, should "have a basement workshop as a place to substitute manual for mental labor".

"The man who works with his hands at home . is a healthier and better balanced man and his interest in his home grows more vivid and personal with every article of furniture that he makes with his own hands and according to his own ideas".

Source: Gustav Stickley, Craftsman Homes, pp. 169-70.

Lacking though from the chapter Stickley dedicates to projects that "professional" craftsmen consider for constructing are "instructions", that is, scaled plans, materials lists, cutting instructions, all the sorts of things one assumes in contained "instruction sheets" or "woodworker's manuals".

Arts and Crafts Ideas Spreading Across America

It was the "most democratic of art movements," the American Civic Association declared in 1906, in the wake of the rapid spread of Arts and Crafts ideals across the country

Americans were subscribing to dozens of periodicals devoted to Arts and Crafts concerns, joining hundreds of Arts and Crafts societies, and taking classes at a bewildering variety of summer schools, night schools, design schools, and settlement houses. They also viewed the works of craftsmen from all over the world at international expositions (see no. 6) and at exhibitions sponsored by societies and schools. These agents of dissemination affected amateurs as well as professionals, consumers and appreciators as well as makers.

After a brief overview of books, periodicals, and Arts and Crafts societies, Mrs Johnson's essay focuses on the role of education in spreading Arts and Crafts ideology — and practice. Manual training programs in the public schools and the British-inspired methodology taught at American design schools, topics not covered elsewhere in this catalogue, were crucial in shaping an understanding of the crafts among artists, art workers, hobbyists, and the general public.

Source: Mrs. M.E. Johnson, "Arts and Crafts," (Leaflet No. 10, Department Pamphlet No. 4-I, American Civic Association, Department of Arts and Crafts, 1906), page 1, as cited by Wendy Kaplan, "Spreading the Crafts: The Role of the Schools",  in Wendy Kaplan, ed., "The Art That is Life": The  Arts and Crafts Movement in America, 1875-1920  Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1987, page 298

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