>> but i still have to
>>watch the ones who can't figure out, for example, that the 3' square of
>>copper foil they need does not have to be cut from the center of the big
>>sheet. can anyone explain to me if that is a developmental thing? i know
>>many adults who have the same problem.
Perhaps the tendency to take material from the center comes from our
natural urge toward the aesthetics of symmetry. This natural aesthetic
urge probably stems from our origins in the natural world. In the natural
world the best clay is likely to be in the center of the clay deposit. In
eating, the first bite would be taken out of center of a chunk of meat.
However, in our synthetic and constructed world of uniformly manufactured
art supplies it is wasteful to start from the center. Instinct and
rational behavior are not the same. I have seen this "natural" instinctive
behavior in both children and adults who have not been taught the logic of
beginning at the corner of a sheet of material.