This past week you probably gathered that we were creating the table design elements of the month-long workshop. We talk about design concepts yes, but the concepts become texture in our hands at the bench. It’s through this texture that we touch the deeper things even professional machinist woodworkers never see or understand. We reach beyond just talking about it too, and enter the realms of making,which is where we bridge the huge gap between past craftsmen and craftsmanship and the present-day new-genre woodworker. We climb over any and all failures to pursue the excellence we strive to establish and the end goal which brings fulfillment.
My brain is buzzing with the questions students ask and yet, even though I strain every muscle and sinew for weeks on end, I feel refreshed as I work with my new friends. Today was a high for many who glued up their tables. All the planing and sawing, the intenseness of refining, improving defining the work has paid off. The relief with each glue up defies any comment I might make. The atmosphere becomes charged and a certain aura displaces intenseness with immeasurable feelings of success. Mistakes, gaps, unevenness is now lost and the relief relaxes everything into smiling faces. That’s what I love to see in my work.
The tools respond to the students now. They are at the diamond plates every few minutes and seldom ask questions on sharpening or sharpness, that is until today. Today they scraped and planed their tables before and after glue-up. This is exciting to me because they are maturing in their work. This I like. Glue-up brings with it that sense of completion most people no longer know. It’s what I call a quality completion actually. It has that quality about it that no one would say her or she is an unqualified woodworker.