Friday, April 27, 2007

Nearing the End

Here is a photo of Al with his nearly completed chair. Both Al and Bill have done a fine job and should handily finish their chairs tommorrow. I've had a lot of great conversations with Al about the techniques that he has used in the past to achieve his impressive results. He and I do things very differently, as one would expect. David Pye points out in his book The Nature and Art of Workmanship, that a drawing of a piece given to two different craftsmen will yield two different products. The subtle shift in priorities and techniques can yield very telling results. It is in these differences that we see ourselves.
Most of the time, I consider my relationship to my process and the tools that I use as the main focus in my work. The pieces that I make leave the shop and I am left with the decision of what to do next and how to do it. After a while, the actual furniture feels like a byproduct of my attempts to spend my time in a more fulfilling way. With this in mind, techniques that are laborious or finicky give way to methods that are efficient and fun. As much as any aesthetic choices, this need dictates the results of my labor. Working with other craftsmen has helped me to understand this to a much greater extent. Thanks to you all.

No comments: