North Bennet Street School has been training people for employment in the crafts since 1885. Pauline Agassiz Shaw, the school’s founder, was a visionary educator and proponent of the Swedish system of manual training known as “sloyd”. The sloyd method focused as much on the development of character, curiosity, and intellectual capacity as on technical skills.
Today, NBSS is unique in training students for careers in areas as diverse as bookbinding, cabinet and furniture making, carpentry, jewelry making and repair, locksmithing, piano technology, preservation carpentry, and violin making and repair – all traditional trades that use hand skills in concert with evolving technology.
The Craft in America Process episode explored NBSS’s various programs of study, with special emphasis on violin making and repair. The segment featured a performance by the Borromeo String Quartet, the New England Conservatory’s faculty quartet-in-residence, who performed much of the program’s score.
The segment also featured an amazing CT scan of a Stradivarius violin. For more details on this technology, please visit the Strad 3D website.