The exercise has increased in difficulty. Now we have to flatten all surfaces and square all edges. That was Monday. It's now Friday and I'm still working on that "perfect" board exercise. But instead of frustration, I'm actually appreciating the fact that I have this time to work with my plane while getting feedback and encouragement from instructors. I can't imagine doing this at home. There are so many aspects to this exercise that are valuable. As instructor Greg Smith pointed out, this allows one to really understand what his/her plane can do and how to get it do the work that's needed.
Sarah Marriage, a recent 2-year student, addressed it in a different way. "The task is impossible. Even if one were to complete it momentarily, the board will change shape over time." She goes on to say "Some people find the exercise extremely frustrating..... But I think if you let it, the exercise allows you to revel in a game that is always a part of anyone's work: how finely to work and when to stop."
Leviathan Desk by Sarah Marriage
Her last sentence is how I view this school. Those of us fortunate to be students here, are being given the opportunity to actually see what "perfection" looks like and are being gently guided to reach that level in our own work. Whether any of us continue to work at this level once we leave here, will be our individual choice. But at the end of these 9 months, we will know the difference between good work and our best work.