Tuesday, December 04, 2018

What one learns from a quest for quality

This morning I went to the Eureka Springs Hospital for a  very minor medical investigation procedure and for some reason decided to wear a Fine Woodworking shirt I had been given as a regular contributor to that magazine.  The radiologist asked if I was a woodworker. He told me about a year-long apprenticeship he had been able to participate in with Ohio furniture maker Arden Riddle. You can read about Riddle's furniture here: https://www.cantonart.org/exhibits/arden-riddle-master-mid-century-design-august-16-2018-october-28-2018 An exhibit of Riddle's work closed in October at the Canton Museum of Art. As an apprentice, my radiologist had worked on one small table for almost a year, so we discussed what it takes to arrive at an understanding of quality, and whether or not that understanding of what it takes to attain quality can be transferred to different realm of endeavor.

It is my belief that if you can rise up to do one thing well, you will have discovered the means through which to attain a high level of quality in other things. The primary material and means (and obstacle) at hand is oneself.

I'll not post pictures of Riddle's work, as the link to the exhibit will suffice.  The following link is to a video review of the exhibit. https://youtu.be/Z1eXGvDgRJo In addition to being a quality craftsman, Arden Riddle was of quality when measured through the kindness he expressed to others. It is rare for people to want to surround themselves in the adventurous work of assholes, and being kind seems to be an important ingredient in being granted the opportunity to excel.

Yesterday my first grade boys made airplanes. One said, "I need blasters." "What are blasters?" I asked. But give a boy some scraps of wood, and he'll have wonders to perform.

Make, fix and create...

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