Monday, September 9, 2013

Do you see what I see?

Back when I applied to this school, I wrote in my essay that I wanted to make something pretty.  So little I knew back then.  Pretty isn't easy.  After three weeks in the shop, my goal now is to see what they, my instructors, see.

Since the beginning of school, I've been sharpening tools, planing boards, cutting mortices, tenons, dovetails, and my fingers. I was highly successful at the latter.   My goal then was to get checked off on a list the instructors had to show that we could do the exercise satisfactorily.  Ugh....that list!  For me, it was kind of like chasing wood shavings in the wind.

Currently, we are working on a practice cabinet where all the exercises we learned previously are now being tested and honed in a more concrete way.  Knowing this is leading us to our project finally made me realize I had better change tactics; i.e., stop worrying about a list and start learning how to see the work I'm doing. 

I started this practice with Greg Smith this morning.  "Show me what you see."  Lots!  But that's okay......more work means, more learning.  In the afternoon, Laura Mays came in and I got to pester her with the same question, but after many hours working on the morning "lots".  She showed me a few things but said overall, it was "acceptable".  Two weeks ago, those words would have made another Facebook photo moment.  Not this time.  I didn't sign up for 9 months to make "acceptable" work.  I came to make "pretty".


  1. I'm loving this blog! I too struggle with that fine line between success/failure or something in between. Enjoy yourself!

  2. Thanks you two! I'm fortunate to have some of the best teachers to show me the way. And, yes, enjoying every bit of it.