Saturday, July 05, 2014

You learn to see with your hands...

I am still recovering from a bad cold that came on as I was wrestling with jet lag from travels in Paris and Norway. But I am making significant progress on my order for boxes thanks to having called in my former apprentice to help.

Today I will do most of the inlay work, preparing the box lids to have their inside surfaces engraved, as these are to be used as commemorative gifts.

I received an article in the mail from Roger, one of my blog readers in Minnesota. The article is about George Wurtzel, a blind wood worker that I've told about before in the blog. The image above is taken from that article.

It describes how George will sometimes use moist heat to raise the grain of wood so that it can be more easily felt. Even for those of us with working eyes, it can difficult to learn to see the small imperfections that often plague finished work. Hands passing over surfaces may choose to ignore those minor imperfections as unavoidable. It is clear that the sensitivity of hands, as demonstrated by George, can lead to perfection. with or without eyes to behold it.

I also received whittling knives from Woodcraft in the same day's mail. I plan to send these along with wooden blocks to my hosts from Bodø, to thank them for our stay and our delightful experience in the Nordland.

We sat under an umbrella outdoors on a cold summer night, with the rain falling on the backs of our chairs. Rick from the US and Hans Christian and Jan Erik were smoking cigars, and I asked, "Would you mind if I whittle?" "Not at all, they insisted." So I showed them how Froebel would carve a near perfect sphere, using just his knife and reliant upon his senses. I gave a near finished ball to each, Hans Christian, and Jan Erik, to keep as souvenirs of our short time together. Soon they will be able to whittle their own.

Make, fix and create...

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