A Strategy for Woodworking #30: Quality

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Blog entry by Gary Rogowski posted 10-16-2014 02:49 PM 1364 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 29: Gathering Part 30 of A Strategy for Woodworking series Part 31: Slow Furniture Movement »

Dream all you like. Think about what it would be like to be skilled in a craft. But skill is gained only by work. Mastery comes after years of study, the rewards through discipline & sacrifice. Sigh.

Quality work does not come through an afternoon’s study. It is the work of a lifetime. And why not? What great skilled worker learned their craft in a weekend? What musician became masterful in a few hours of study?

It is this very process of learning your skill, of practicing your craft that is the goal. Never reachable, always worth striving for. Quality is not perfection. It is real, it is actual, and changeable as we learn more, as we discover more about our tools and about ourselves. Begin.

The Northwest Woodworking Studio
Distance Mastery Program

-- Gary Rogowski...follow my wit and wisdom on twitter @garyrogowski

4 comments so far

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1845 days

#1 posted 10-16-2014 09:16 PM

Gary, I have your book on joinery, and yes, it has helped me by stretching my present day ability, to a joint I have not yet wrapped my head around. The wonderful photos of your work inspires me to always – Do better.
Oh, by the way I really like your bass!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View JayG46's profile


138 posts in 1276 days

#2 posted 10-17-2014 01:00 AM

Gary, this series has been really enjoyable. This one in particular really strikes a chord.

There is a documentary called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” in which the 85 year old Jiro still shows up to his world famous restaurant, seeking to make the best sushi he can. He works long hours and almost never takes a day off. He is clearly a master and has nothing more he needs to prove, but is still compelled to hone his skills.

Reading this I am reminded of that film and the siren song of a craft that it showcases. Watching videos of Sam Maloof in his nineties working a bandsaw conjures the same feeling. The desire to perfect a craft, even though it is impossible to ever wrap your hands around, provides a great source of motivation to wake up in the morning.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2752 days

#3 posted 10-17-2014 07:24 PM

I agree with everything you said Gary, but I would also add ‘attitude’ to the list.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jim65's profile


799 posts in 1351 days

#4 posted 10-20-2014 05:47 PM

excellent advice, begin. “and always know where your finger are” – my favorite quote from a very smart man. Thanks Gary

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

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