Deuce’s log, January 13, 2010
We’ve all heard stories of past lives coming out to the surface…I cannot forget how crazy i thought the person who first suggested it to me was. Memories of being someone else? Where’s the lithium? The past few months I’ve been biting my tongue, because memories are now something I cannot remove from my head.
I’m not crazy, but lately i have been remembering quite vivid memories about being someone else; About a past life. Toiling away in a large log home, I held a chisel in one hand and an oak mallet in the other. Guided by the light of a distant candle, I sat there for hours chipping away at a seemingly perfect back rest on a chair. I can see the scored groove on the flat river stone sitting on the table to my left, and I remember thinking it was going to irritate me if I had to sharpen the plank of cold steel again.
Sadly enough, I don’t remember anything else. Maybe it was a dream I had that I was remembering when I was conscious again, but it felt strangely different from a dream. I felt the cold of the steel, I smelled the burning animal fat candle, I coughed and watched the wood chips fly from my breath….This was more than real to me. It was the beginning of an answer.
When I’m in the shop, I don’t think about anything other than what I’m doing. My workshop is my escape from life, my vacation, if you will. The stress of everyday life lifts from my shoulders to burden someone elses world because I’m no longer in its world…I’m in my own.
Born the son of a mechanic, I was raised with limitless amounts of scrap metal laying around. While I could tinker with the machines and create life from them, I had to turn astray. I was living someones dream, I was being trained for someone elses job, not mine. While metal has its advantages, wood is what calls to me. My dreams, my art, my life…they can all be expressed thorough my pieces.
Also, in being a mechanics son, I had a limit to what I could do. Adventuring into woodworking with a limited amount of tools was like being castrated before i even began. I was always trying to make complicated cuts by hand and smoothing out the screw-ups with sandpaper. When you’re 15, even the simplest thing as buying tools limits you greatly.
That year, my brother gave me a set of Stanley wood chisels, 1 inch, 3/4 inch, and a 1/2 inch. From then on, I don’t recall a day I haven’t had to pull a sliver out of my sock. I was an artist that received new paint brushes, and I was going to make the most of it.
My life is furniture. I dream in furniture, I draw furniture, I live and breath for the smell of fresh cut pine in the morning. I have a 2 inch binder notebook filled with design ideas with detailed parts lists, design schematics, blueprints, and its almost full, yet life has handed me some pretty raw deals over the years and I still dont have an adequate workshop. The table saw I have doesnt cut square, nor does the blade adjust for depth, nor is there a power switch. I have a compound miter saw with an 11 3/4 inch cut width…other than that, I have a jack plane, a block plane, the same fore-mentioned chisels, and a set of cheap Wal-mart carving tools. Needless to say, even the smallest project poses a huge time constraint because everything has to be meticulously calculated to work around those certain setbacks, and it takes even longer to finish, due to the flaws in the cuts and sanding everything by hand.
My work is far from perfect. With the right tools, I know I could be doing much more much faster, and much better, but I am still strapped for cash. No worries, though. I’m a glutton for punishment, and I still welcome the challenge with a smirk.
-- When a robot can dream up the ideas I have, its time to silence the competition