This is the time of year when I always seem to struggle to overcome a lack of momentum. It feels like winter is a hole I stumble into each year. Not enough gets done, or the wrong stuff gets done, or I can’t seem to tell the difference. Often the days just don’t feel productive. It’s not that I’m inactive, it’s just that most days I end up doing something besides the job I got out of bed to tackle.
This blog page was started as a way to share the projects I’m working on and hopefully to generate interest in my work, so I can work. I design and make stuff, I work in wood and I teach. I like doing these things and that’s what drives me. I don’t have much of a knack for self-promotion but I do want to share and I do need the clarity that writing brings. I have been posting a bunch on Instagram but I believe it’s time to start back with this blog page; sharing information about the projects I am working on, or the ones I am dreaming about.
I make it a point to spend time outside each Sunday. Here’s a frozen brook in the woods behind the house.
This time of year finding balance in life can sometimes be a bit elusive. Winter is slowly yielding to, lets call it late winter, and I’m starting to feel the welcome push of energy that spring will bring. I come out of each summer and into the fall pretty much worn down from the pace of traveling and teaching, I need to slow down for a bit, to take time to catch up with deferred projects, and I need time to rest. The trick is to do this without loosing all my momentum. I’ll admit I’m not that great at it.
After the pace of summer, deep winter can feel very restful. The shorter and quieter days encourage a thoughtfulness that the long days of summer don’t seem to warrant. Summer is about movement, going, doing, and experiencing as much as the days will allow. The cold of winter, with time each day next to the fires that warms the house and shop, is better for grabbing hold of a thought and following it right to the very end.
This summer came in slow and it’s still behind schedule. The end of August brought our hottest days, the kind we usually get in July, if they happen at all. My guess is, or rather my hope is, that we are about to settle into a long slow slide into an even longer fall. Winter, when it comes will have plenty of time to push us around. Lets not rush things.
It’s a rainy day and I’m breaking my rule and working in the shop and at my desk. “If you work Sunday’s then Mondays just another damn day”. That’s the rule, but, Saturday was beautiful, cool and sunny so I spent the day working in the garden and bike riding. When you work for yourself you have the option of sometimes flipping the days around to fit the weather.
Spring is here, the days are sunny with temperatures in the in the 70’s, flowers are starting to bloom and the summer teaching season has begun.
I’m starting the 2015 season with a class in my shop, a collaboration with Pygmy Kayaks building two of their Pinguino 145 designs. It’s a full week but we are making great progress and having fun as we bring these boats to life. I can already tell both boats will be used often once they hit the water.
Last week saw two projects moving closer to completion. We did the tear out of our old kitchen (what a mess) and I got enough done on my new Black Mountain Cycles bike to take her for a ride Sunday. Both are going to be wonderful, well worth the effort!
In the kitchen we’re making and installing the ceiling this week then we can set the upper cabinets. I hope to have the space up and running by the end of this week and finished by the end of next. I’ve got a class in the shop the first full week of May and students to feed.
Spring is a bit slow coming in this year, but the longer days do make it easier to spend more time working in the shop and they offer some daylight time outside at the end of the day. Sunshine, it’s good stuff this time of year. Yesterday it was in the 50’s but today we’re back to cold, wind and morning rain. Come to think of it, this is spring.
Earlier this winter, before December’s frost, ice, and dustings of snow had morphed into the more than four feet still piled up around the shop, I expanded the list of things I’ve tried my hand at. A film crew, four consummate craftsmen, arrived for a three-day shoot in my shop.