Sunday, August 9, 2015

Eventually, most projects get completed

People often ask me what I do with my "free time". Their question assumes that I have times in which I am not in my workshop working. In truth, there are such times; for example, right now when composing this (very short) blog. I also have to go to the store to buy things once in a while, as well as seeing to other matters not related to my job, but are necessary in order to live...but these are few in number, and I spend most of my time working. I actually happen to like it this way.

My "baker's cabinet" made of elm

The question is usually intended as an inquiry into what I do for self entertainment; the answer. More work. The only real distinction about my "pleasure time" and "work time" is that what I do for "work" I  (usually) get paid for. What I create for pleasure, I almost never wind up selling, and so in essence, am making something for myself. One good thing about this sort of work, is that I get to make what I want, without worrying about someone liking it or not; because I was not making it for anyone in the first place. (This is not to say, however, that I do not like making the things my clients order, because I do. I am one of the few lucky ones who actually happens to like doing what he does for a living.)

Crest carving and marquetry detail

The downside to making things for myself is that since I am almost always busy trying to make a living, I have very little time to make anything else, so when I begin a project, it might be months or even years later before it gets completed. I am happy this week, because I managed to get one such project ticked off of the "to be completed list" (it is a rather long list, actually) Sometimes I get a boost, because I need to show someone the project, so must set myself to finishing it up. 

Lid and box-front detail

Such was the case of this hanging shelf/cabinet/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, thing which I began almost one year ago. (11 months to be exact) I am calling it a baker's cabinet, because as I see it, the box compartment is for flour and sugar, and the shelves are for oil, spice, and other things useful for baking. I hope to find someone to make some ceramic jars to use with it. I will offer it for sale at the Waterford Craft Festival in October, but I do not really anticipate anyone wanting to buy it. It is a whimsical piece which I conceived after seeing this photograph on the internet.

Original Inspiration

Comparing this original piece to what I created also speaks a bit about my sense of taste and design; namely that for me, the original was a bit too primitive and rustic looking. I decided to dress it up a bit with some veneer and edge banding. I like the hand made look, to show in the work, but at the same time, like it to be obviously well made. I also really have a hard time with simple, plain, and ordinary. Of course, the more ornamentation, and care one puts into a piece, the longer it takes to get it finished, and thus this one took nearly a year.

Several weeks ago I mentioned a 9th century box I Intend to make, that one should get its debut on this blog next week, In fact I mention it here to give myself a bit of motivation to make some more progress on it, No matter how busy one is, we always seem to make time for what we want to do, I want to make time to get this box going, and so far all I have done has been to turn the four legs and carve three of them. Posting this here will make me make the time to do what I want to do anyway. This week, anyone who wants to know what I will be doing in my "spare time" can know that I will be working some more; making something that is even more of my own soul, because I have to answer to no one for it.

This picture not available until next week

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