My Week Was Mixed, Different, Refreshing, Inspiring, Hopeful
I left early from my tiny village Saturday morning and traveled the mountain passes, past many lakes to another village to be a part of something I hope never dies. Bedgellert held its annual horticultural and craft fair in the village community centre. We judged the work and ate lunch together and then the villagers and holiday makers came in to see what people grew and baked and made and drew and painted and craft was kept alive by people who felt creative work is worth their effort.
Looking at the Creative Work of Others
I visited some art and craft workshops in town and sales places you could buy from too. It was discouraging in some places to see hand made wooden spoons for £1.50 and original paintings and art framed for under £100. I came back and made my frame for a painting Joseph bought me of a Jay and felt thankful that I could own my own work and make frames for people I like and even sell my frames to people I don’t know. It’s my lifestyle.
Joseph and Kat came in to make a coffee table promised as a gift for friends that married last week. It made me glad that my kids can do things like that and like to. It’s lifestyle you see. Joseph’s a good furniture maker. He can make anything. The oak came from stock I keep around all of the time. It’s my bank; or should I say it’s the bank of a lifestyle woodworker. It’s been that way for forty years now and it’s not likely to change at this point in my lifestyle. I liked seeing them working together. It’s a sort of fulfilled dream to see my children able to work this way if they want to. My skills live in my children. How much more can I ask for. Does that mean they have to be woodworkers? Of course not. It means they are woodworkers. It’s got nothing to do with it being a job. How primitive. It’s to do with choices, abilities, skills, critical thinking, living beliefs, thriving, nurturing being.
John too has been making all week. His tools are coming together and he wen to the car boot yet again and picked up this saw for £5 and lots of other tools that looked ugly but ready to be restored for his kit for another fiver. Square awl and gouges. Lots of stuff really. He’s got to cut off all of the teeth and recut them but he can do it. in about an hour he’ll have an old saw restored that will last him a hundred years more. Imaging a lifetime saw for under £10. You see here is another lifestyle woodworker and craftsman emerging.
I Love the Welsh Mountain Villages and the Rivers that Pass through Them
Sharing your life with your friends is important. Mick and Sally Alexander are the ones that asked me to judge at the craft show in Bedgellert in the mountains. The town is lovely and we all sat and ate lunch together after the judging. Mick loves working wood even though he got involved a little later in life.
He has a sense of therapy from the work and ends up feeling well when he’s done. Wellbeing matters and lifestyle is a choice not luck. You choose how you live whether it’s easy or not. now, that said, I know for some of you this may not be possible and my heart goes out to you. I hope that something might change so you too, if you want, can find a lifestyle of working wood or whatever you feel the calling too.
Sharing a Love for Woodworking Hand Tools
John bought me a 12” drawknife he thought I might like and I do like it. It’s a Marples drawknife and it reworked the bevel unit it fit my intent. I regret leaving most of my tools in Texas and New York because I would like to show you what I have used for five decades. I love them of course, you will not meet many woodworkers and especially teaching craftsmen that have they tools I have and can say they’ve used them for so long. One day they will go to my children and my grandchildren most likely. i buy tools frequently to make certain I have enough to supply those I love with good tools. Do you do that.? I hope so. they will love your gift as they grow and learn from you. It’s about lifestyle and life choices you see.
Reducing the Highs to reach the Lows
Of course you know I restored the flatness to my benchtop. That was a good job done and one I planned on doing now for a few weeks. I really enjoyed it and it felt good to work at again. Seeing Joseph and Kat gluing up the coffee table gift gave me joy and it was here that John brought his two-handed invention to test out. of course this was some fun we often have during the day. Laughter makes the heart glad. I believe in that really, seasons, times that matter – there is a time to be born, and a time to die; I think in part it goes like this; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…
Lifestyle starts with one person thinking just a slightly different though. Expanding the thought can result in options that can become opportunities careers advisors never heard f and school administrators never heard of and politicians note often dismiss than consider. It can keep expanding and people can take a fresh look at the real life they own from a different perspective and think about their future. I love that, don’t you.
Oh, this is me and my daughter. We spent the afternoon and evening together with my five grandsons and Joseph and Kat and my Wife, Liz and John. We goofed around a bit, spent time in the workshop at Penrhyn Castle and ate supper together.