I am now in the second half of my first year of woodworking and I thought that perhaps it was a good time to look back and assess my progress as well as set some goals for the future.
The latest challenge, the Summer Awards, was an eye-opener for me, as I realized that my skills had indeed reached a new level.
It was only this past January that I decided that it was time to try my hand at the hobby that had intrigued me for years but I had no experience with. Although i didn’t (and don’t) expect to be really good at this, I did know that I would enjoy working with wood regardless of the outcome.
It was impressive, really, having never touched a scroll saw before or even watched one in action.
My goal, although I was focusing on scrollwork at the time, was to make a box—just a box… any box—and so with the scrollsaw (the only tool that I knew how to use, other than the mitre saw) my first box was created.
This now sits on my daughter’s desk in her music class, filled with paper clips.
Somewhere around this time, I was challenged (what would I do without you guys) to enter the Summer Challenge, and for some reason I took you up on the challenge. But, before summer arrived there was another challenge that took place – a little Thorsen Table—and my “just a box” goal grew legs.
This accomplishment is perhaps, and shall probably remain so, my greatest achievement. Not because it is so amazing, but because it was, so I thought, way beyond my abilities AND of course because it is made from willow, which I had fallen in love with during the creation of some other boxes. But I took the plunge, with the support of my fellow LumberJocks and the “masterpiece” was created. It is my favourite piece of furniture in my house.
And then came the Summer Awards and the box I made for my Mom’s 80th birthday. No screws. And not “just a box” but a box with meaning, a box with decoration…
As I built this box, it was interesting to watch myself, over my shoulder, (oh this MsDebbieP thing is giving me a split personality I think) haaha.. .but I was fascinated by the knowledge that I used while building the box. I thought out steps, knowing what was going to come next; I knew a whole lot of “what not to do” and what to watch out for—and I remembered them all :)
The process wasn’t just a “one step at a time” but a step towards a vision, intertwined with other steps. Yes, this box symbolizes a new level of skill for me.
My journey might be slower than some; I might be a little (or lot) more timid than most re: using the tools and trying new techniques, but I am still moving forward, still progressing and still proud of my achievements.
What is next? I have no idea but I’m sure there are some fellow LumberJocks who have a thought or two on that!! :)
-- ~ Debbie, Canada (http://www.execulink.com/~yohan)