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John, as a box maker, the idea of thinking outside the box has always amused me because you can do so many meaningful things in your approach to a wooden box. The form offers amazing opportunities, and it would be just as useful for people to think inside the box as outside of it. When I teach, I have my students go at the box, breaking it down into its facets and features, and we can spend nearly an hour exploring the various options it presents. Thank you for your illustration and observation of this cliche. Sadly, most woodworkers think of boxes they've seen. My challenge is to get them to understand how their own box can draw from the many facets of their own real lives. The most important thing is not to be different, but that what they make be meaningful and expressive of their own intellectual and emotional landscape. Creativity is overrated.
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Apr 24, 2011