Craftsmanship


How important is craftsmanship? How exacting am I trying to be? How exacting can I be?


I have never really considered myself a craftsman and I have started to work with power tools for only a dozen years or so. Coming to power tools late in life is a good thing as it keeps me respecting the tools. Taking tools for granted can be a dangerous thing.


I want my work to be solid, to be well built but becoming a craftsman takes time. I never realized just how difficult it is to get a good 45 degree miter cut. Add to this that the items I am working with are not square and I can get pretty frustrated.


Just as in painting, is seeing the "hand of the artist" important? There are some painters, throughout time, who struggled to perfect their art. Their style or brush work was hidden in the pursuit of perfection. Other artists celebrated their style with obvious brushwork. You can tell a Vincent Van Gogh by just seeing a few square inches of one of his paintings. So is this a cop out that I don't make perfect corners? That my woodworking skills leave something to be desired? There is no such thing as perfection but aiming for it is a worthy goal. I do aim for getting the technical part "right" but then I do realize that there is beauty in the struggle. To see what I was trying for and understanding that even if I didn't reach my goal, I got as close as I could. The effort was important.


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