About

Andrew B. Watt is me.  I am a designer, artist, writer and philosopher in western Massachusetts. That’s enough to identify me to the discerning reader.

The short version: 

Graphic Design, Presentation & Business Coach

A few years ago, I started my own business.

The purpose of the business has been to offer guidance and training to small businesses in western Massachusetts in marketing, graphic design, advertising, and public relations.  I write copy, invent logos, and consult with teams on being better presenters and communicators. (At the moment some parts of this work are on hiatus).

I have been involved with Toastmasters since 2013.  I joined a club in order to learn how to be a better evaluator of my students, and wound up staying for the leadership opportunities.  I’ve served as the club president, two of the three vice-presidential posts, and all of the business-orientation posts, in various clubs.  Additionally, in 2018 I was elected the Club Growth Director for District 53 of Toastmasters International.  I am endeavoring to serve honorably and with distinction.  Because of this role, there are some fees related to teaching public speaking and presentation skills that I may not request or make; however, you can acquire my services through a donation to District 53 Toastmasters under the right circumstances; through Toastmasters I can offer the Youth Leadership Program and the Speechcraft programs, which are excellent services for many businesses.

Maker

I am at this point a professional quilt-maker and costume tailor (sewist? costumer? Words do sometimes fail me).  I sell much of what I make through Etsy, which is mostly objects of fabric: quilts, stoles, clothes, costume pieces, and more.

I seem to have a niche market making banners, sashes and ritual wear for occult and esoteric groups, fraternal and secret societies, and individuals with an interest in the mystical.

MakerSpace Builder & Coach

Part of my business is helping schools and libraries design and build MakerSpaces.

You can think of a MakerSpace as being a form of the wood shop, metal shop, plastics shop, cooking, and sewing studio classes that many middle schoolers and high schoolers took in the decades from the 1930s to the 1990s — but updated for modern technology. Many shop programs closed down in the late 1980s and early 1990s to make way for computer science programs, and as the teachers hired in the 1960s and 70s retired.  The result was a series of lost decades that produced few plumbers, few electricians, and few repair professionals; as well as fewer hobbyists in cabinetry, furniture building, sewing, and metal smithing.

The last twenty years has seen a rise of self-taught artisans in smith craft, knife making, cabinetry and furniture making, and cosplay. Through YouTube and other online resources, hobbyists can learn to sew, knit, weld, and Make a variety of things and learn a variety of skills.  Yet these skills used to be learned in schools — and they have critical things to teach both students and professional educators: lessons in geometry and mathematics, proportion, design aesthetic, and beauty.

Which is where I come in.

When schools try to restart their shop programs, they either balk at the price tag… or they have the money but can’t find the personnel to run the program.  In my work as a school teacher who founded a MakerSpace program, I built a program from nothing to a high-quality, award winning MakerSpace in just five years. Along the way I learned a wide range of skills and systems for making a great program.  And I can teach those skills to your faculty and staff, so that

  • you don’t have to pay for your entire program in the first year;
  • you train up your existing staff rather than hiring a professional;
  • you build a team that can run a quality program together;
  • you build a program based on the interests, skills, and confidence of your staff.

You should contact me about starting such a program at your school.

Writer, Performer

I  write quite a lot of poetry, though most of it these days is not published here or anywhere else.  You should take a look at what I have available through Amazon.com.  I’ll be performing a few times this year, but mostly locally. The biggest upcoming event will be a set during a poetry reading at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, ON Canada, during the week of November 1-8, 2018.

Astrologer & Magus

I got interested in magic as a historical phenomenon, and I wound up getting interested in it for its own sake. I’ve gotten quite good at working in these realms.  If you would like an astrological, geomantic, or Tarot reading, I can provide you with those services by video conference, telephony, or in person.  Other, more esoteric services usually require an in-person consultation and effort.

Spare Time

In my spare time, I make things (sewing, knitting, carpentry and simple machinery), hike and kayak.  I also write.  Duh.

24 comments

  1. I am a runesoup fan who was sold off some of your comments. LOVE your website man. i am so into qigong and energy work lately, the palace of memory is beautiful. anyways man i wanna start from the beginning and your website makes it even harder then Gordon’s. like i got no way to start your tai chi series from 1 without literally hundreds of clicks and pages. you really should have some easier organizing because your beautiful content is lost in its own weight brother!

    • Hi Andriulli, welcome.

      I’ve thought about your comments about the site being difficult to navigate. It occurs to me that I could build a web page specifically for the tai chi practice — not with every entry listed, because that would be unwieldy — but with key dates listed in each month in each of the three years. The tai chi practice is really more of a rambling diary than a coherent set of analyses, though.

      In any case, building in a navigation system is unlikely to happen until June and the end of school.

    • It’s a good video and he’s quite right: textbooks are unswervingly hideous— not just in science but in history and maths and English. We’ve built this sprawling educational bureaucracy, where hundreds of people do work that is only marginally useful to the business of training students. John Michael Greer’s column this week is about the problems in American education and it’s worth a read. But underlying all this is the challenge which goes unspoken — we have one educational system for rich people, where kids do poorly on standardized tests but do better at learning to read, write and think; and hence get better jobs and go to better universities; and another system which is for public schools, but where the district’s ability to pay for school, and the parents’ own educational level, has more to do with overall results.

      We’ve dumbed down our schools a lot.

  2. Stumbled on this thing: http://falconsfables.org/ which is an interesting way to assemble information for students (although making logins and passwords for their subscriptions public is probably a TOS violation). I wonder if in you interest in connecting w/ students via technology you have found any collections/databases of design documents, as opposed to basic references, out there. Also, your personal web site seems to be down.

    • THanks for the thoughts. My school has really no filters or blocks on our internet services, but we do have policies about using passworded services and handing over student info to websites; so it’s unlikely we’ll use that service.

      GravitysGrace used to run on mac.com; when Mac.com became me.com, I had to shut down the website for a while, and then me.com became icloud, and I lost the ability to host webpages there. I was never able to get GravitysGrace to be as successful a website as this one, so I gave up, and focused my attention here.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring your blog this morning. Uncanny the interests we have in common — martial arts of both East and West, the Tarot and other occult matters, writing, and even RPGs (I created one called “Spaz Zone” back in the 80s). I’ll be back!

    • A pleasure making your acquaintance. I vaguely recall reading “Spaz Zone” in someone’s gaming library…. Is that possible?

      I think the things that make for a good gaming writer come in part from the realm of the occult. You have to be versed in monsters and the machinery of Cosmos for occultism to make much sense, and gaming provides a convenient framework. It’s not to say gaming is a gateway drug to occultism — but I think that the habits necessary to be a good game leader, like a dungeon master or a storyteller, eventually lead one to question how the world works. And those questions lead equally to quantum physics and to Tarot and martial arts, and to the Order of the Stick. 🙂

      • Good points! I guess when you think about it, an RPG is a tiny universe with its own system of laws, and the Kabbala and Tarot are systems that attempt to describe the laws of this one. Once a year or so I my son & I get out the paper and dice and play the D&D campaign I designed when I was a teenager back in the 70s, but I’ve largely given it up. You might have seen Spaz Zone somewhere. Boardgamegeek used to have a review on their site but it’s since been taken down.

  4. I’m so blessed to have found your blog. You have fired up my creativity and taken away a large portion of my own creative barriers with your wonderful artwork. Thank you! 🙂

  5. Andrew,

    I’m building a new class blog and want to improve my explanation of categories and tags. Is this the best to ask you and your collaborators what’s a great resource to explain this distinction?

    Some interesting samples; what’s the best? What’s out there that’s better?

    * I like the explanation and the history of the functions: http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2005/09/09/categories-versus-tags-whats-the-difference-and-which-one/

    * I am a wordpress snob and appreciate the built-in instructions: http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories-vs-tags/

    * Is there something better?

    Thanks–Bill

  6. Dear Mr. Watt:

    I enjoy reading your blog, and was wondering if you would like to do a link exchange. My book blog’s url is educationanddeconstruction.com. Every week, I make a nonfiction book recommendation in the topic areas of education, history, technology, biography and/or humor. I have already put up your link. Please reply if you would like to do a link exchange. Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Sally Friedman

  7. Hi Andrew,
    I just discovered your blog and am reading many of your posts with great interest. A question, for some reason where you indicate in several posts that you’ve included video, nothing appears for me except for a large white space. I don’t know why this is. I assume you’ve embedded video, maybe from youtube or vimeo? Any ideas? I’d love to see some of the things you are referring to. Thanks
    Jen Braxton

    • Most of my stuff is on YouTube.com My user name is ABWatt there, so if it’s a video I made, that’s where you’ll find it.

      If it’s a video that it appears that I didn’t make, but I enjoyed, then I’ve usually favorited it there, too.

      Would you mind leaving a comment on entries where things AREN’T working? They all look like they’re working to me, but the result is that I don’t know which specific videos are causing problems…

  8. Hey, Mr. Watt! It’s been ages since I talked/chatted with you. How’s the fencing club doing? I still get to fence twice a week, if I don’t have too much homework, but I miss all the old Rectory fencers.

  9. Hi Andrew,

    I like the clean, tidy, data rich organization and look to the blog.
    My stuff is in a few places.
    Home page: http://web.suffieldacademy.org/~bsullivan/

    Playground wiki: http://englishsandbox.wikispaces.com/ourwebpages

    And a Blog I stared w/my AP Eng. class: http://billsullivan.edublogs.org/

    Thought that I would play around a little w/word press; now back to grading. One week of classes; one week of exams.

    Take care,

    Bill
    Talk soon–Bill

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