Thursday morning curmudgeons – what’s next?
Most of you know that Les, Scott and I (Dennis) have been getting together on Thursday mornings for the last year or so. The three of us have been involved with woodworking for a very long time and we all had noticed that we were exhibiting symptoms of a problem(s) that can befall anyone who practices any part of the ancient and honorable art of “wood butchery.”
Most woodworkers involved in the “bench work” part of the craft quickly realize that it can be a very solitary existence. Now solitude, in and of itself, can be a wonderful thing. The ability to withdraw into the peace of the workshop is a great gift. But, like all great gifts, solitude has a few “down sides” to consider. When working by oneself for a long period of time, it’s very easy to get into a “rut”. You might find that everything you’ve been doing has begun to look “the same”. You’re apt to find that you’ve fallen into the habit of talking aloud to yourself… And, no matter your level of expertise, you may find that your skills are not being challenged.
So, the pact was made. We’d get together once a week for the purpose(s) of sharing our experience(s), assisting each other, learning and challenging one another. And of course, our sessions include a fair amount of laughter, both between and at ourselves. We’re living proof that no matter your level of expertise, you can still “screw it up.” Experiencing the fraternity of craft is a real treasure.
The three of us continue with our own, individual, projects. But last Thursday, we took a measure of some of the projects that we want to accomplish collectively. Some are incomplete projects that have been around for awhile and some are brand new. Here’s what we’re thinking:
A Spanish footed tavern table. This is a project that’s sitting around (nearly completed) for awhile. My guess is that we’ll wind up making several of these;
A Chippendale style side chair with a pierced and carved splat;
A bannister back chair in the Massachusetts style;
and, a Queen Anne Highboy;
We shouldn’t run out of work (or challenges) for awhile.