Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I will be returning to tool buying recommendations soon, but for now, my attention has turned to tool making. My friend Rich came over yesterday and we fired up the forge and started to work some steel. I have been making tools for years out of necessity and have decided that it is time to start learning the ins and outs of real blacksmith technique. By the end of the day, Rich and I had tried all sorts of new techniques and fallen into the pitfalls of every one! I have always been interested in learning new things and after years of tormenting myself during the learning process, have come to relax and enjoy the perils of the unknown. Lately I've been working on many different fronts such as writing, building stone walls, tending fruit trees, book illustration, small engine repair, syrup making and as always chair design. Any one of these pursuits could drag me into a cyclical spiral of expectation and failure, before any real hope of skill and success. Perhaps the only expectation that is always appropriate is that anything worth learning is made up of unexpected difficulties, and the courage to weather the process of learning, is the real achievement. So at the end of the day, with a bunch of misshapen and burnt up steel, I felt good. After all, I'd spent the day outside, with a good friend, learning that there is a whole new world to explore.