By Peter Elijah Lim
The Franciscan University Carpentry Club held its first meeting in the J.C. Williams Center’s International Lounge on Jan. 25 at 11 a.m.
The event was marketed to Franciscan students with interest in joining a club that would teach the skills necessary to create everything from artistic woodworks to common room furniture.
The club will meet twice per month on Wednesday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. at New Polity on 3rd Street in Steubenville. Students will have the chance to choose their own projects and tools at each meeting, with no prior experience required.
Alex Plato, advisor to the new club as well as a philosophy professor at Franciscan, spoke briefly at the meeting on beauty, love, participation in God’s graces and the importance of partaking in leisure activities that are not purely utilitarian.
“We were made in the image of God, so our works reflect humanity and community through pleasure in our total work,” Plato said.
Plato explained “total work” as that labor which isn’t only focused on use and efficiency but taps more deeply into beauty and human nature. The products of total work are not created from a sense of duty, but out of love for the craft.
“Beauty is the creation of God’s omnipotence and survives in usefulness,” he added.
Following Plato’s remarks, a Q&A session was held. Club President Andrew Doty informed meeting attendees that access to the workshop will depend on club interest levels. Doty also stated that the wood needed for participants’ projects can be funded by Franciscan University.
Students with an interest in the carpentry club were encouraged to join the club’s GroupMe.
“I am really interested in learning how to woodwork and create functional and beautiful projects,” transfer student Leonardo Congeni said of the club. “I always wanted to learn how to woodwork ever since I was little but never had the opportunity.”
“Dr. Plato gave a good talk on how amateurs can rebuild the culture,” Congeni added.