No matter where my workshop has been, grandiose castles and my own homestead workshops by my homes in Texas from the 80s through and well into the new millennia, there are few things that compare with putting out the shop lights, taking a last look inside, and catching a silhouetted glimpse as the last light caught the frame of something you just made. Your tools are in a row, bench swept off and the shavings are bagged ready for the chickens. The door wafts a few mischievous shavings in and out and the key somehow seals them with safeness. On the one hand there’s a reluctance to go. Another half hour would have done it. But then there are other things, not many, equally important.
You head for home and reflect on all that you worked through, recall how many times you sharpened up, remember the need to fix this or that sliver that broke off before you knew it. But your tools are in good order and the workpiece is settled.The best part of the day is the feeling you get when you did what you love doing to the best of your ability. “If you could bottle that, now there you’d have something wouldn’t you.”
Satisfaction is one thing, job satisfaction another. The new building will suit me well. Already I believe my vision is fast becoming a reality. I look back on my former workshops and think to myself, “What a Wonderfull World.” In the past I rarely took photographs of myself or my workplace. Few of my pieces were recorded that way. When you have a wholesome life filled with energy you don’t need imagery and you don’t need to prove anything to anyone. That’s why I feel such opposition to reporters and magazines I suppose. Few have the real gift to be able to encompass a man’s life working his craft. My life has been both rewarding and fulfilling. I say a man’s life because I only know from my own perspective.
My tools and my work are all the safer for being in the new building. Soon I will unwrap and unpack them. I have shelves to build and cupboards too. As I wander through the building I start sensing where things will go. I have a new office for the first time. I’ve never really had one before. I’m not sure how much I will use it as I like being with everyone in the day to day. I try to imagine myself in a peaceful place and then I feel more selfish. But there are times when I need a little quiet, so we put this into the mix.
I remember every workshop from sheds to garages and to castles and remember these are the places I grew up. Difficult character-building projects now make me laugh when once they might have brought a tear.