More thinking on ‘working to honesty and integrity’. Working with our hands and seeing the outcomes of our labors is a powerful learning experience. Evaluating our work and comparing it to our own expectations is tricky. Some of us are of the nature to be self critical and focus on the flaws. Some of us are of the nature to be to lax and ho hum. A balance it to realize that our imagination, our creative eye is always ahead of our abilities to execute. This is a good and natural thing. This is where honesty and integrity come in. We must be honest about out intentions and their outcomes. What is it to make a spoon? If we make something with the intention to make it pretty then call it pretty. If we make a spoon, make the best spoon you can.
Repetition. Malcom Gladwell suggested that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. This maybe true or not but it is clear that repetition and focused practice lead to skill and mastery. I started a project about 2 years ago to carve and make 400 spoons. This is a modest goal of which I yesterday finished my 200th spoon. Others have carved more and yet others have carved with more skill (prettier, more ornate, more traditional) but that is them and I am me. My skill has dramatically improved. My skill has not caught up with my creative eye and that keeps me going.
I don’t know anything about art. I must be honest about my making. I am a amateur in the best sense. I am too focused on my own making and creative eye that the distraction of “Art” doesn’t enter my world. This is all a way to get clearer. I don’t know what I think till I write it down.
This week in the shop I plan on finishing the stool tops for Paul, I have a job creating a butcher block cutting board in a special application for our landscaper, I’ll be making a tall narrow bookcase for cookbooks for Mary and I’ll be welding up a cart for my welder.