Reflections, thoughts and photos, wrapping up 2016. December 12.

An early morning outing on a local pond.

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.

This past spring and summer and even well into the fall my work was about connections with people, teaching and being on the road. I taught 12 classes, traveling to the southern mountains twice to build boats with students and working in numerous other venues here in New England. Between classes and getting ready for classes I found time for biking, cruising in our sailboat, some kayaking and hiking along the coast and in the mountains of Maine. I also participated in and completed the 2016 Coffeeneuring Challenge! I was feeling really hopeful this fall, and then the events of 11/9 really really set me back.

It’s taken me some time to try and understand how we shifted from a country of reasonable people and a process of governing that to date has worked, to this sad reality TV show mentality. I value authenticity and honesty and both are in short supply these days. As a nation we should set high standards for ourselves and then simply do what’s right. Lead by example. In these things we have failed. We have taken a huge step backwards towards a small minded and harsh world that I thought we had left behind.

In reflection I see 11/9 as a set back in the larger struggle to grow a better world for all people. We have been pushed back towards ignorance, arrogance and anger. I don’t believe we are moving back to white-only drinking fountains or other dark times. We will not lose that much ground. This is just a set back in what has been a slow steady climb towards a more open-minded and prosperous world.

So what does matter if this is just a setback? There are two areas where we can’t give any ground; the relentless attack on our environment and the theft of our common assets by corporations and the one percent. They are really one in the same and each year the attack on our natural world and on the common man quietly intensifies. We must protect what resources we have. We must fight for a level playing field. We must make sure that the parts of our world that once lost can’t be replaced are protected until wiser choices are made.

So I guess this is a blog about current projects after all. What am I working on? I’ll support groups like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Counsel. I’ll support the water protectors at Standing Rock and I’ll work with local land trust and the AMC here in New England. I’ll vote each and every time I spend money to support local farmers, makers and tradesmen and the large companies that do make a positive impact. I’ll try not to support large corporations, the ones whose only goal is larger profits earned at a higher and higher cost to our environment. I’ll work to stop the theft of our national resources and our public lands by these same corporations. At home I’ll work and I’ll design and build with an eye toward what’s fair and sustainable. I’ll work to be the best craftsman I can be. I will not be quiet.

Bill Thomas

Designer-Maker

 

Here are a few photos from this past season’s work and outings.

Coffeneuring ride # 7.
Camping in the Whites.
A Fox building class at Lowell’s Boat Shop.
The night sky in Highlands North Carolina.
Moonrise at our local stretch of shore
Ruby underway, high summer in Maine
Loaded up and heading out to play.

 

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