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I have a new Assistant!!

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Blog entry by EPJartisan posted 1188 days ago 4276 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This year has been really rough so far:

Sister and I had a fall out that has affected my whole family (she went crazy on FaceBook.. you can see my point of view.) I turned 40 and though I didn’t think I was going to … I started to re-evaluate my life, goals, and dreams, and now I understand mid-life crisis a bit better. Got into a truck accident on the way to a woodworker friend (Keith Fritz Furniture) in Southern Indiana. “T” boned, by an out of control driver and a head on collision with a concrete wall. Scariest accident of my life. I got really really banged up and 3 cracked ribs, which set me back in every part of my life for the last three months. Then my Paduan (a free style Apprentice, and, yes, a Star Wars reference, but also homage to Padua, Italy … the only place Art thrived during the Medieval era) moved to New Orleans, so I have an empty desk and a feeling of loss.

AND YET…this year has been really AMAZING so far:

I received a hefty grant to further my career as a sculptor and artisan, to either get into the 2012 Sculptural Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) show…. or to go back to school for my Masters. Regardless I am working hard on 10-12 sculptural pieces. The accident gave me GREAT pain killers, that blossomed my creative abilities.. I finished a painting, two small carvings, two wands, and started 3 large sculptures, and refined my “Spiral Cone.” My husband, David, as offered a new job as VP of Technology for the 3rd fastest growing Ad Agency in the US, which makes the home life so much less stressful. Next month, I am heading to Italy for a 10 day painting class in Tuscany. AND I was approached by a young guy who was interested in being my Assistant!

I HAVE AN ASSISTANT AGAIN!
He has been in the shop for 4 days now: roughly 5 hours a day, for whenever I need him or he wants to earn money. And I have a grant this time to afford his assistance… whoo Hooo!!! He is 23 (“straight” ... in case anyone really cares, but he is my first “straight” assistant so it is bit odd for me) and is the drummer of a band. He is searching for a path of more creativity and potential future. I am so happy he is not a newbie, but does need some refinement and focus. BEST of all.. he comes in and starts to work right away, does what I ask without issue, and is eager to learn all I can share!!! If he works out I could see him becoming my next Paduan, or maybe a full Apprentice!

Life is good… thanks for reading … hope it is all good for ya’ll, my woodworking Peeps!!
They can take all our money, but give us a stick and a piece of steel and we will still make happiness for another person, and what goes around … comes around. So, keep on making stuff. ~ Peace

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."



14 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15683 posts in 2843 days


#1 posted 1188 days ago

Sounds like things are going great. Enjoy!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6912 posts in 1928 days


#2 posted 1188 days ago

really glad you have bounced back from the auto accident and are thriving with work and a new person to teach …keep the trade alive and maybe you will instill a stronger drive with your new assistant and he to will become a wood worker of art…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View bigkev's profile

bigkev

197 posts in 1253 days


#3 posted 1188 days ago

WOW!

-- Kevin, South Carolina

View MichaelA's profile

MichaelA

771 posts in 1513 days


#4 posted 1188 days ago

Glad to hear you are doing well.Keep on creating EP.

-- The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. "Helen Keller"

View William's profile

William

8971 posts in 1467 days


#5 posted 1188 days ago

I am on pain killers on an almost daily basis. I wish they helped my creativity. Mine ususally take away from my creative side. They have a tendancy to dull my senses.
As for the sexual orientation of your apprentice, I can’t see where that could possibly make a difference. Artistic abilities are a blessing that is bestowed on a lot of people, both straight and gay. I commend you however for giving hom a chance. For some reason I have noticed that in a lot of situations, people of different sexual orientations had problems working together.
I worked one time with a gay guy on a house remodeling job and I don’t know how I could have done that job so successfully without him. The man and woman that owned the house couldn’t agree on anything. I added the masculine touches. He had a flair for the feminine touches. In the end, we delighted both the owners. We made a great team on that job. In the beginning, I was reluctant to hire him. By the time the job was over though, we’d learned more about each other’s lifestyles and learned a very important lesson that is lost on so many people. I hope you get this though.
I am straight. He was gay. We were both people though. We had a job to do, and the differences in our sexual orientations made no difference since we weren’t there to have sex anyway.
The only time I think I offended him was the evening he tried to talk me into going out to a gay bar with him and his partner. He was a good guy in my book, but that wasn’t happening.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View mafe's profile

mafe

9483 posts in 1714 days


#6 posted 1187 days ago

What a tour.
Yes the midlife crisis catches us all…
I had mine if it helps to be not alone: http://lumberjocks.com/topics/20999
I’m really glad you seem to be going in a new a more clear path, but stay low on the drugs.
Best thoughts,
MaFe

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View DaleM's profile

DaleM

910 posts in 2008 days


#7 posted 1187 days ago

”AND YET…this year has been really AMAZING so far:”

That’s a great outlook! It would be easy to focus on the bad things and let them consume you and shape your life, but I see you’re not doing that.
Great news on the assistant. I’m that guy right now I guess, since I just started working for someone else in their family business. Make sure you give him good, honest feedback and critique on his performance and your expectations, because I know I appreciate that.
Have fun in Italy.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1052 posts in 1750 days


#8 posted 1185 days ago

Thanks Dale. I have had my share of despair and bad times. What doesn’t kill ya make ya stronger. LOL. Overall when I share my life stories people are both utterly amazed and horrified, but that is the bitter-sweetness I enjoy about being alive. I am giving him feedback in a way he has never had it before, with firm chiding and kind crits. not blow up anger and punishment (sad he had that experience, but then so did I) I believe that making someone more nervous makes then work less efficiently… so I give enough free rope to fall, but not hang themselves, and I often say “And what have we learned from this?.... :)” I’ll treat him good!

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1318 days


#9 posted 1185 days ago

Congratulations, EPJ! Anything to expand your abilities to produce your art is a positive thing. I look forward to what your shop will be generating.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1052 posts in 1750 days


#10 posted 1185 days ago

LOL, I think you are a nice guy William, but you make my point for me. You enjoyed the gay guy as long as he was in your world and (believe me when I say this…) when he adjusted himself to suit the straight world (you and the client)... BUT in the real world, Gay people have been outcast for so long, we literally have our own culture.. acceptable conversations, campy actions, it is ours and we enjoy being what we can… gay and happy! Even if it means often being apart form the straight world just to feel safe and find love and acceptance. I am one of the many, who have been physically bashed and emotionally abused and I now refuse to be silent, so I am out and others must live with that. (In a ways I feel sad about that, but in other ways… I don’t really care.)

ALAS the problem is not on my end… Talyor is the straight one coming into MY world and I do not, will not, change myself or my studio to suit a straight anyone…especially one that I employ. I have too many gay students and gay clients to make them uncomfortable. So like you, being too afraid (or whatever) to go into a gay bar, you most likely would not feel comfortable working for me. Which is why I am very specific to let others know I am a gay woodworker, those who have a problem with that should just stay away. Everyone else is accepted with smiles and joy. YET, my personal safety will always have priority over “what does it matter?” conversations. So I like this guy and he works well, but it is odd for me to know what he is going through, being the odd one out in a different culture … and I hope he stays, but we’ll see.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1318 days


#11 posted 1185 days ago

I’m genuinely surprised that this matters to anyone. Dude puts out nice work and seems friendly enough. End of story in my book.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1052 posts in 1750 days


#12 posted 1185 days ago

Amen, Al. He can stay for as long as I can afford him. But like I said, we’ll see if he is adaptable or can’t handle it. :)

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1318 days


#13 posted 1185 days ago

Sounds like he’s got a wonderful opportunity to develop on several levels. If it doesn’t work out, his loss.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15582 posts in 1491 days


#14 posted 1185 days ago

Well, I sure am sorry about your auto accident but it souns like a lot of other stuff is looking your way and I hope that it all works out well for you.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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