Breakfast at Eli’s eased me into the early Sunday morning as I prepared for closing the details of the worksop class on Monday. Roofing and floor cleaning, unpacking new tools from boxes and fine tuning the remaining Stanley number 4 smoothers was a multi-man task that created lots of mess and clean up afterwards. Outside wildlife continues at it’s uncompromised pace as it has for centuries past ‘off’ the conveyor belt whilst we super-smart humans continue improving our lot in buying and selling life to the highest bidder. All around the workshop though there was a certain indescribable peace about the work we had yet to do to tie in all the various pieces of a very unique composition. In my journal this morning I wrote of composition and design:
“It’s been a challenge over four months to be ready for Monday 16th April 2012. Unwaveringly the work has progressed to put the final pieces in place. When one section of work gets completed I introduce another and someone else jumps in to help get every piece of the tapestry done. I thought about mosaics and how they start with composition of pieces initially unnumbered and often undefined. It’s an arrangement if you will of colour and texture that then creates its own unique texture. Counting the cost of any work must be assessed prior to commencement because knowing you have what it takes to complete it is important. Any failure here can result in grave disappointment. Mosaic builds in coloured phases and texture. Contrast creates definition and places boundaries or subtle changes in transition from one area to another. By complementary and counter-colour, shape and movement form depth and meaning so different to any other craft yet closely allied with glass and glass work. Like glasswork, mosaic isn’t a puzzle in an unknown at all but a creative movement. It’s an arrangement of subtleties and as any choirmaster moves a chorister from one place to another by only one foot sideways and a row forward or backward to change depth and presentation, so too the creative mosaic master. People are working alongside me with no other intention than passing on skill and knowledge about my craft. The work in New York is intended to train others in skill and to ensure its longevity my skills must be passed on to others that will one day replace me. This thought excites me more than I can express. One of the greatest influences on my life was a photograph of Edward Barnsley who stood knee-deep in shavings with six apprentices around him and directed them as they built his designs. His stained, cloth apron reached past his knees and his rolled sleeves and necktie defied class. He trained men and left a legacy of freedom in work.