My shop has a motto: “Every day put your hands on the wood.”
This is the only road I have found to growth in artisinal work.
Nothings seems to take its place.
Wanting to be better or to be at all is not enough.
Some effective contact must be achieved.
With wood meaningful contact involves the hands. It involves investing oneself through manipulation. This does not mean I ignore reading or thinking about wood, styles, etc. These activities are good for a certain kind of perspective, but without hands-on experience no real progress occurs. I once found myself bemoaning the low state of my inlay work. I wanted to grow in it. Only three words made sense as an answer: ‘practice’, ‘practice’, ‘practice’.
At this stage of my life ‘put your hands on the wood’ has an added importance. What I stop using I can lose and never find again.
I am in a life spiral with wood.
Wishing, wanting, intending, none of those will do it, only putting my hands on the wood.