Why I create ... the beginnings of a Makers Manifesto

I’m deeply connected with the process of making. The smells and textures of the materials as I work with them and the rhythm of the work is soothing. Using the body to move through space in concert with materials is so satisfying and connecting that one becomes ethereally present in the moment. Flow. This is how I develop my story. My story made real through making. 

Making provides the opportunity to learn something new everyday. Making provides the opportunity to connect and learn from people with different world views than your own. This experience is so uplifting that it becomes like a drug in that we cannot enough of and we search for this experience. Most makers are self aware enough not to let this endeavor over power prudent behavior. More and more, making is seen as necessary part of community and learning. Maker spaces are popping up everywhere.  

This past week in the shop I’ve finished five small boxes, a bread board and a serving tray for the Farmers Market. I finished the welding cart and painted the bell. Next week I will be making and finishing a large breadboard for Becky, a special new design I’m stealing from an article in Fine Woodworking (can’t wait to show you), a wood and metal book shelf for a special small space in our kitchen, and the bench I started several months ago. This bench was one of my first metal/welding projects and I got the wood for the seat and back from Jack Carpenter a local sawyer. I finally got the metal bar for supporting the back yesterday. 

More on the maker's manifesto and pictures of completed projects coming. 

Small 4x4x2.5 inch boxes.

Bell made from recycled oxygen tank. Bottom cut off and ring welded to top. Now I need to build an outside hanger.

Nice to have the welder up of the floor. Poor choice for wheels as they are not so smooth.

Befriending ambiguity

“Take the Zen master’s advice, work less aggressively, befriending ambiguity.” Richard Sennett from is book “The Craftsman”. Zen is everywhere. How can Zen practice relate to making, craftsmanship, hand work, and skill building? Using minimal force and releasing to the universe. Sounds like Zen practice is a congruent to being a maker.

This week in the shop I’ve learned several things. Sanding with 400 and 600 grit waterproof paper while finishing with oil really improves the finished surface. Shellac first when finishing cherry as it tends to blotch. I should start with flat boards before glue up rather than try to flatten after the fact. Small boxes take small (thin) lids. Hummus becomes very creamy when you add a small amount of the liquid the beans where boiled in. 

Made 5 small boxes out of wood.

Two thick maple cutting boards.

Advanced a 19X30 maple cutting board. This board will be made like fine furniture. I got inspired by an article in Fine Woodworking magazine about making picture frames as fine furniture. I plan on installing bread board ends and pinning them so as it can move with seasonal changes in humidity. The costumer will get to choose between maple and walnut for the bread board ends. Tomorrow I go to Lewiston to flatten and sand the board with a 26” drum sander.

 In the metal shop this week I painted my welding cart,

make a metal 4X4 pencil holder

a simple metal bender and 

added a ring to the bell I'm making.

Too many projects in process. But this is become my usual.