Education

"I never let my schooling interfere with my education" Mark Twain Wise words.   Sometimes I think we're entering a Dark Age just at the moment when we have vastly more knowledge at our fingertips than ever before.  We can look far out into space and at the tiniest of the tiny to understand our universe … Continue reading Education

Responsibility

Here are some good words about responsibility I would like to share from the Northwest Woodworking Studio.

Tool box detail

Shavings

I had this crazy idea about the world and how I’d like to change it today.

Hear me out.

What if folks acted as if they were responsible for their actions? That whatever they did out in the world had a pond and ripple effect? That they are not alone on their computer, on a phone, in their world, entitled to more of everything at the expense of everyone else?

It would be like working at the bench if you will allow me. Where when you screw something up you are the one who did this. You are the one who has to fix it. You can’t turn to your neighbor, the car next to you or the bike rider, big business or the government, or your sad upbringing and history and blame them for it. You have to take responsibility for who you are and where you are in…

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‘We’re All Frauds’

If it takes five times, build it five times. I feel this sentiment almost everyday. I think that means we really care about what we do.

Lost Art Press

adam-bede-w

The book that became “Chairmaker’s Notebook” began as a chat with chairmakers Peter Galbert and Curtis Buchanan. We made a plan to produce a video of Curtis building a chair that would be accompanied by a pamphlet from Peter illustrating the construction details.

In the end, Curtis’s detailed videos ended up here. And Peter’s “pamphlet” became the best book on chairmaking I’ve ever read.

But that’s not why I remember that meeting with Peter and Curtis. Instead, I am continuously struck by something Curtis said to me in that cabin in Berea, Ky. Curtis began talking about teaching woodworking.

“We’re all not as good as people think we are,” he said. “We’re all frauds.”

This was Curtis Expletive Deleted Buchanan. A guy who has more skill than 10 magazine-grade woodworkers. And he was sitting before me explaining that – like all human beings – he has insecurities…

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Thoughts About Minimalism and Survival

Learning a thing or two from the past...Part 1, 21st century Westerners are not the first to minimalize. "The things you own end up owning you." Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club There's a lot of recent talk about Minimalism as a social movement and this fits well with my personal philosophy and my interests in preindustrial … Continue reading Thoughts About Minimalism and Survival

Perpetual Beginner Mentality

Here’s a nearly perfect little essay from Greg Merritt about amateur woodworking that can be applied far beyond our chosen hobby. It’s a great way to start off the New Year on a positive note.

I particularly like this line: “To build furniture you need three basic skills.  You must know how to sharpen, layout accurately and then accurately cut the wood to layout.  That is it. Period.”

HILLBILLY DAIKU

The following is written for those of you, like myself, who are amature/hobbiest woodworkers. We just want to build things with wood and enjoy the process as well as the result.

In days gone by, when the apprentiship system was in full swing, a person knew where they stood in the hierarchy. You entered as an apprentice and worked your way up through the ranks. Crossing milestones allong the way that advanced you to the next level. Eventually working your way up until you were considered a master craftsman, or whatever similar rank, depending upon your chosen proffession. My assumption is, that as these individulas moved up in the system their attitude changed as well. Gaining both confidence and a sense of reponsibility to the profession.

That was then, this is now.

Something I have observed over the years is that amature woodworkers are almost always viewed as perpetual beginners…

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