Saturday, July 18, 2015

perception of value...

My wife and I are in Traverse City, Michigan for a family reunion in Harbor Springs that begins tomorrow. Fortunately I brought work with me, so that even though I will be away from the wood shop, and even though I will not be making sawdust in the most direct manner throughout the coming week, I will still be able to work on the text and editing of tiny boxes.

We are so attached to the physical things that surround us that we are inclined to overlook the real values. For instance, when things look difficult to do because we don't understand how they are done, we place value upon them. When we see wood fitting closely together we assume one thing or another... either that it was done by a very skilled craftsman, or that it was done by a machine, and that in either case, doing it is therefore outside the realm of the casual observer.

The job of the how-to writer is to strip away the illusions and put the power in the reader's hands. And so, while I don't go through all the step-by-step in this blog, what I want you to know is that most of what you see in the world is accessible for you to take into your own hands, asserting control over the matters of both material and self.

An example is shown in the photo above. By stacking 5 layers of veneer, cutting through them at the same time on the scroll saw, and reassembling them in a mix and match manner, a level of precision can be attained that looks as though it was done with either a machine or by a skilled craftsman.

The wisdom of the hands is not mine, or a thing I have right to claim for myself, but is a thing I hope to awaken in others.  The important thing is not that we make perfect things, but that we grow in skill and confidence and help others to do likewise.

Make, fix and create...


  1. You cannot get from Traverse City to Harbor Springs without passing through Charlevoix. Is it still the beautiful?

  2. Yes, pretty. And busy with tourists. We discussed how to say Charlevoix. I won...

    Harbor Springs is also a very pretty place.