I found my christmas present to myself in a hastings on the way to Spokane Wa for christmas. It was “The New Masters of Woodtuning” not to be confused with “The Masters of Woodturning” printed about 15 years ago. This is a great book not only for turners but for woodworkers period. Many of the artists in this book touched on something that I found important when designing. I was reminded of it as I was commentting on a fellow jocks blog. A true artisan who is devoted to learning their craft cannot become so enamored with the material that he is using that he looses sight of his design. As woodworkers we love wood. In fact after I wrote up and distributed my broucher there were people saying that they were going to knock on my shop door before they come in after reading some of the things I wrote about my love affair with wood. That being said I belive that the warmth and beauty of our medium is going to shine through. In this world of pre-fab and cheap imports it is vital that a maker be committed to puching the emvelope on design. You know I have a very beautiful piece that sits down at one of the shops that carries my work unsold. It’s probably one of the more solid constructions that I have put together and it is made of very beautiful wood but I made one mistake on it. The wood that I used on it was so wonderful that I didn’t give the design the attention that it needed. Now after all the other piece sold over that holidays that one remains because it doesn’t have that little extra thing. The little nudge that pushes it over the line of “thats a nice table” to “I must have that, my life is not complete without that table in my house”. The wood isn’t enough by its self, if it were we could just go down and put a nicely sanded and finished board for sale. It is the design that sets our work apart. Now I’m not saying that we should judge our success on sales. But have the disipline to our craft to ask why it didn’t sell. And as a woodworker I know that it is important to consider the matirial. We should love wood and showcase it at every opertunity. After all our craft is about making wood look it’s best, but not at the expense of our creativity. It is important in our growth as craftsman to understand our matieral enough to get it to do what our design requires and what the world has never seen wood do before.