Wednesday, 25 March 2009

to infinity, but 1st get some groceries.

Hello, its a continuation really and finding that my feet are down there. Before delving in to the nitty grittola I am hoping I will verge and get in a trailblazing paragraph or two. Alas this is not to be, so I widen target from barndoor to barn.
The jump from 140 characters to as many as you want is almost slightly more restrictive, as a bad tweet can be deleted or forgotten about as it disappears down the timeline, a blog I am guessing should go a little deeper, and a miss with so much ammunition is not impossible. So many words! All you have to do is choose the right ones and place them correct order.
Oh, content, yeah content. I forgot about that. Is it better to restrict yourself to what you do? The people you hold the dearest? The circumstances you are in and what got you there? We all have a past, so maybe your history? These are stumbling blocks for me so I will not choose.
I want to talk about what I do, so I will, and again the gaps will be filled by either you or me somewhere down the line. I touched on the standards of craftsmen last time, and its a subject worth talking about, as it has got me where I am.(?)
I work with handtools only. No machines at all, this started towards the end of carpentry career, when I started getting more private work, and in peoples homes the noise and dust created by power tools is very intrusive, so for the sake of my clients atmosphere and ambience, I left the corded abominations at home.
A bag of tools can be very versatile, and in any case a woodsmith who can't do it by hand is to me a skilled labourer. A craftmen needs a few essentials, decent chisels, a nice mallett sharp saw but most of all it is about cutting or planing to a marked line. If you can mark a line and cut to it then it is only the accuracy of the line that will determine the fit and ultimately the finish.
I really don't want to blab on about the standards of carpenters, or joiners, there are still some of the oldschool and some amazingly gifted people out there are creating stunning peices.
What I do is now different and especially these last eight or nine months have been, well, new. In the past when I was designing and making furniture I taught myself mainly while referencing the archives of books published on the subject, there are hundreds, my brother was also doing similiar work, so the path was well beaten. If I stumbled or hit a block, I reached for a book or called phillip up.
This probably sounds as naff as, but I kinda see what I want to make in my head, and once the idea is crystalline I then have to work out how it could be done. I will not compromise when the result is determined by time. I will very happily spend 20 to 25 hours filing the abalone down to the components of a palo on a headstock, and then a spend a few hours each day inlaying them. Few people do this these days as you have laser cutters driven by motors piloted by a computer. The results are flawless and quick. And incredibly soulless. entirely soulless infact. im not saying that my work is it, or the sh*t, or anything, i choose the hardroad because it really aint about churning them out, its about the journey and in the end i have an object that has been poured over. every detail and part is as important as the next. they are to me a work of art.
hence the title i give myself is artisan, i think that means you're an artist but you work a bit more and drink a bit more.


  1. I am inspired - can I commission you? Or at least name myself a piss-artisan with you? Well done lovely. Keep it up! xxx

  2. Good blog, Paul. It's becoming more & more interesting finding out just how interested YOU are in what you do. That can't be bad. Will read the one above now!

  3. On of the finest pieces I've read on a blog in a long time. Write more. It's good to know there are still artisans in this world.