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.

  • Tom Dowling, Olalla, Washington on Cluster Workbench AreaHi Paul, Is there any way I could get the plans to build that nice doll house (2nd picture) for my great grand daughter ?
  • Sylvain on Cluster Workbench AreaIs the nice doll's house (2nd picture) for your grand daughter? Sylvain
  • Sylvain on Cluster Workbench Area"The important thing is that any autist who comes to learn and apprentice with me will feel a sense of belonging and a level of permanence they might not get otherwise elsewhere."…
  • bytesplice on A Machine-free HourPaul, The title "A Machine Free hour" hit a resonance with me, so I thought it would be a good phase to promote hand tools among the those who thing woodworking is too noisy or req…
  • Toni Carré on A Machine-free HourHi Paul, When I read your blog about meeting someone who thinks and works like your self I just had to reply to your comments. Look no further my friend because the exact same thin…
  • Joe on A Machine-free HourNice mirror Paul. Making one for my wife out of scraps of cherry or walnut will delight her. Looking forward to the video. Two other thoughts based on your post. As you close up sh…
  • nemo on A Machine-free HourThat's a very lovely mirror. Such simple elegance. I knew there was a reason I was saving the mirrors from the old plastic-handled ones I threw away. Seems like a nice afternoon-pr…