My children are adults now. I thought that when they reached this point my work would be done, but now I discover at this ‘other’ end of life that life really comprises multi-layered spheres of periodic development in growth proportions high enough they become important memories. We might compartmentalise this as phasing or stages, but somehow that seems to me at least to stultify the length and depth and breadth of organic vibrancy into mere historical archived steps—a bit like a museum of history. Birth and death are two landmarks of beginning and ending and the stuff sandwiched there in between these two points is where life is forged. For me, these many diversely different interactions build a dynamism that then bridges time lapses to unite those ever-important past spheres of creativity with the present and future, forming realms of perpetuity, sustainability, individual responsibility and volunteered accountability. It’s where our living in 3D translates into a fourth dimension that defies agism, sexism, racism, nationalism, politicalised dimensions and so on to create a culture of shared life. Now within and beyond my family it means creativity is deeply woven into our DNA.
John and I talked last night about his plans setting up shop in Patagonia. He’s doing well and says “Hi.” I am excited to see him so enthusiastic and inspired by his return. He has a lot to do to establish himself but he is so well equipped to get started on the right road.
With my family grown I find it all the more important to continue my working with people I come to meet and know and those I may never know. It means I can extend myself into helping them achieve objectives they might until now have only dreamed of. Its viability becomes all the more possible when people are searching for an alternative cultural reality that defies what most see as normal but actually would have seemed abnormal a hundred or so years ago.. Most progress is a bandaid on unfixed and unresolved issues. That’s by the by, but within these spheres I refer to as creativity in reality, the real doing and making and building of things is life itself. It’s something we can tangibly relate to when a plane irons out the ripples left by band sawn cuts into dead flatness and a polished steel square awaits a hand to place it to wood.
When I started writing it began with articles about hand work because I knew there was a need for change. I’d grown tired being bombarded with article after article about machine work. Back then I’d handpicked a magazine I thought to be best suited to my work in restoring an affection for the efficacy of hand tools. One I thought had values in many spheres of creativity and one that exemplified good editorial effort. As internet grew in popularity and communications improved, the doors opened to a new and greater independence with the freedom to reach over a million woodworkers worldwide in any given month. This alone created new spheres for us to change and transform the face of woodworking and indeed restore possibilities for a new means to apprentice and enable people to become craftsmen and women wherever they lived and whatever their background. Knowing how many people looking for instruction ended up in front of a tablesaw with a salesperson offering £1000 piece of equipment as life’s answer to woodworking, it didn’t take much to nudge the balance on the scales just a tad. People have now become fascinated by the tradition and modernity of my craft. The gameplay shifted over a two decade period, building a strategy that seems now to be dynamic and full of life. Just as creativity takes on a life of its own when a man or a woman has an idea, so too creativity always surprises the status quo with ideas that just have a way of transforming human life.
This week Lea (pronounced Leyah) came in to work and train with us again. She’s from Slovakia and she loves woodworking. She hopes to continue training with us over the coming year, as part of her vision for establishing an eco-village in Slovakia with friends and colleagues. Our plans have yet to unfold, but this extension to her previous month of training with New Legacy will enable her to work effectively as a furniture maker and woodworker. We’ll keep you posted on progress as her skills grow.