In fact every week works for me, mostly. When problems come, then i can learn from them. Turning negative into positive is more than positive thinking, it’s more embracing opposition and turning it to an advantage. Of course that doesn’t mean that there aren’t struggles, just that when you marry your craft you know it’s right, that it is in essence an irrevocable vow, even in or especially in the hard times.
I link this mostly to my early discovery that I really discovered it was important to find what you loved to do and then to trace your steps through the minefields of untruth to follow the truth of your feelings. All of my fellow woodworkers in my apprenticeship ultimately fell away to do something else because the apprenticeship to them was just a job or a step into professional spheres like management and such. I still love my work even after 55 years in the daily doing of it. Also, I enjoy being with the people I work with, I still love all of my hand tools and then too the wood I use has constant pulling power to anchor me no matter the species. I discovered wood and all that surrounds it as a young boy.
This all began with my love of wildlife, especially the British wildlife I would discover as I grew. My looking up into branches and just watching what was there expanded my horizons. The colours and shapes of leaves and tree stems, the birds, especially raptors, owls and such. Then there was the climbing into the branches in search of nests. I wanted to see how they were made and from what. The linings, the sizes, the intricacies of each nest and bird type.
Those blue eggs of the blackbird and the song thrush. The wren’s white egg had tight splashes of speckled brown. What amazed me too was the strength of wood in holding its own limbs. Even back then at age 10 I knew of no such strength occurring in anything human made; with similar proportions of bulk that is. A 1″ diameter branch tied in to the stem would take the whole weight of a big man. When I began to work with wood I saw the tangible root of this reality in the crotch grain configuration and there I understood my subject the more. I have never really enjoyed knots in large sizes but I have liked the swirls they cause in graining formation.
Jack, my newest apprentice, is working through his course with me. He is a man of few words because he is autist and he just finished his second project the joints of which were very well fitting and neat. He whipped it off home before I could take a decent picture for you so am sorry for that. He did the same with his first two dovetail joints, again the first he’d ever made, so once more no pics. For someone so new to woodworking he seems well able to tune into the working just with hand tools. Personally I think that he’s going to be a good hand toolist. I’m looking forward to seeing how this all unfolds for him.