22 Jul 2016

Meet the Maker – Wood Turning

Why Do I Make Things?


I’m in the process of making a bowl at the moment. My mother wants a salad bowl for summer. Its 30 degrees and I’m working in my workshop with power sanders and protective gear on. I would buy her a bowl for 20 euro. It would be a nice bowl, a very nice bowl. Why am I 3 hours into carving this bowl from a lump of maple that would crush my foot if I dropped it?
The bowl I am making is very nice. It would cost 150 euro to buy probably. Right now I’d happily pay the extra 130 euro to get out of this heat and sweat and ventilation mask and to have my afternoon back. Why do I make things? It cant be economic.. my workshop cost several thousand to fit out. That’s a lot of bowls.
I frequently abandon projects too. Its a cost of success because success is a destination and failure is a pitstop on the way. You literally HAVE to risk the failures to succeed. Muhammed Ali was arguably the most skilful boxer ever and even he got hit. Lots of times.
So why make things? My mother has the first bowl I made her. Its… its horrid. I would burn it with fire, but she loves it. Of course she does. People value something you make yourself because of the effort put into it says more than reaching for your wallet. But that’s not why I make things.
Ultimately there is a satisfaction in dreaming up a design, a plan, an idea and the next day holding something you dreamt in your hand. There is a validation in that… Satisfaction in creation. Its a powerful feeling to be able to execute on your dreams. That’s why I make things.
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