If you know anything of me by knowing me or reading my musings, watching the uniqueness of our videos and then through social media too, accuracy is one of my favourite words. Of course, accuracy isn’t so much mere spoken and written words, it is that too, but for makers and doers of things, accuracy is the intent carried out in every action we make. Accuracy, sensitivity, precision and carefulness, in my world of making anything at all, watching anything at all, yes, too, manoeuvring (US maneuvering) through it each day, can be used interchangeably. Accuracy means everything!
Manoeuvring too can be interchanged with manipulation, dexterity and so on. Manoeuvering demands mental and physical acuity in the same way we speak words to counter opposition. Hand tools demand manual dexterity to counter the opposition of the wood presents second by second. We often make one slice cut to expedite exact cuts one by one rather than by the thousands we get from machine cuts. You will have read and heard me say most often that it is not so much what you make that determines the outcome, the levels of enjoyment, fulfillment and satisfaction, so much as how you make. This to me is a true saying.
Making Makes New Masters
The last twenty projects or so, that I have made since the lockdown and isolation almost six months ago, have resulted from something I call compression — a zone of workmanship that pulls on the self-constraining elements of making to make the work itself so special you cannot stop yourself from making. This is how the ordinary becomes extraordinary. This is often how I measure myself and the worth of what I am doing in the process of making. The enjoyment I get from cooking a meal when I take a break from woodworking to make and eat my lunch, breakfast or supper, is immeasurable. Crafting food, washing up the dishes, prepping anything and then making everything is all glued together by accuracy, economy of movement and methodology. Making is art in craft and craft in motion.
Such things are no longer taught but they are still learned by those pursuing any art form no matter the medium. Why do I say that? Well, since the demise of hands-on apprenticing and apprenticeships, the teacher-mentors who once were indeed artisans by earned and practiced rite and right, in general, no longer exist. They were replaced by technical college educators who were mostly just that rather than the once practicing artisans. This sad reality left a void in the training of young apprentices. The college lecturers and teachers I have come across do their best but some often present a confidence that’s unreal and speak not from a working background of skill and knowledge combined with actual practice. Sadly, this has a knock-on effect within the industry of woodworking resulting in underskilling in all spheres of woodworking. In the realms of our amateur output, on the other hand, we do see much incredible work and the establishing of lifestyle woodworking. A success story for our decision to make my work with training and teaching woodworkers online!
My next blog will show some of the work of those who have learned from us through woodworkingmasterclasses.com, commonwoodworking.com, and then of course my blog. Quite incredible!