Sunday, February 17, 2013
When I Walk Down The Street, People Whisper To One Another: That Dude Can Plane
Woodworking in Japan is a revered tradition. America has a weird version of the same thing -- or maybe we're normal and the Japanese are weird; you decide. But humans of any kind, in any walk of life can make a contest out of anything.
Every once in a while, people want to see where I work. Some expect a very elaborate place full of highly refined and complex tools. Others expect a kind of lutherie shop, filled with arcane and rustic tools and jigs and so forth. They're all surprised that there's next to nothing in my shop other than the things I make. I'd have the same set of tools if I was framing a house, or making a kitchen cabinet, or a fence. You need to store it, handle it, measure it, rip and crosscut it, smooth it, fasten it, and finish it, no matter what it is. The rest is a kind of judgement, or discernment. Judgement is ninety percent of it.
Schools teach anti-discernment now. You'll have to find it somewhere else.