Tooling Camp – Project Fielding, 2016


Tooling Camp – Project Fielding, 2016
In June 2016 Fielding held its inaugural Tooling Camp at the Experimental Station in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago.

Fielding is founded by Sara Black, Billy Dee, Amber Ginsburg and Donesha Thompson. We consider building to be a gesture of craft, which by nature is slow, requires commitment, repetition and revision, much like social change. Richard Sennett, writing in the The Craftsman, sees in the “craft of making physical things,” insight into how to relate to others, calling for “experience understood as a craft.” Building as an embodied practice has been largely gendered, yet the knowledge, skill and wisdom that can be born of carpentry and craft processes are invaluable to all. Our choice to work with girls, young women and gender variant youth is born of our experience as women builders in both art and trade contexts. There is a persistent misalignment between the confidence in our capacity to develop building skills and complete large-scale projects and the gender pejorative attitudes we encounter when doing so. Our name, Fielding, encompasses both the experience of deflecting unwelcome assumptions and a new direction for the field of building. We propose gender non-conforming building as the vehicle for crafting confidence through physically manipulating materials. This program will accomplish this in two ways:Tooling Camps and Field-Build projects.