I am almost through the series on making a beautiful stepladder. What makes a stepladder beautiful? It’s beautiful because I made it with my own hands, my own power, my own strength, my own mind. It’s beautiful because it’s simple to look at. It’s simple because it’s functional and it’s beautiful because I see form follows function. There are other reasons that it’s beautiful. It’s made from wood that’s being revitalised from its condemned state. It’s beautiful because it’s Brazilian mahogany. It’s beautiful because it’s so very lovely to work with. It’s forgiving, strong, light colourful, rich and these elements make it beautiful too. Mostly it’s beautiful because I have made the stepladder twice and it’s beautiful because of another wonderful, very wonderful thing. I made it with my friends watching and listening as I made first the prototype but now the actual film series. It’s beautiful because Ellie and Phil trace my hands with the cameras, listen to what I want to express visually and suggest ways to make the vision a reality of beauty for those who will watch it and make it along with me and us. It’s beautiful because Mark at the opposite side of me looks at me when we film and when “it’s a wrap” gives me the thumbs up and smiles to encourage me in his liking of it. It’s beautiful because Cristina takes care of what’s important and then more and she does it because she cares about my work and my working.
Joseph jumps in periodically to help steer things, makes a change, and the whole thing snaps in place. So you see I see faces that make a very beautiful thing on the other side of the lenses. And now there’s Hannah too who shares our enthusiasm for the very lovely work we do. You see it’s not just a couple of lovely, no beautiful stepladders I am making, but videos, beautiful videos, with a backdrop of behind the scenes people that make it happen.
You see too that, just when I might retire, a new world started to unfold for me where six more young lives began working together in a very different world than the one I knew. This is why I continue to say to myself every single day it’s not what you make that’s so important but how you make what you make because that alone determines the outcome and that is beauty.