The shop or the project ?

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Blog entry by TheBee posted 04-05-2009 07:04 PM 1211 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have to admit I enjoy looking at the workshops more than most of the projects. The projects can come from many sources, but the shops they are unique works of art. After watching Blakes tour, I am more apt to work on my shop than to work in it. The pleasure I get from changing and rearranging my shop is usually more than any particular project. They space is really a reflection of me and every now and then I need some changes. My best memories of my Dad were being in his shop and I see him in parts of mine. That’s enough about that, whats your thoughts or am I just out there. Larry

-- It is, what it is.

11 comments so far

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 3736 days

#1 posted 04-05-2009 07:37 PM

Your shop can be a reflection of not only yourself, but the inner workings of you. Ordered, messy, etc. You provide order to your inside, as you provide order to your outside. So really working on your shop can almost be a spiritual process, if you make it so. So I’d say you’re not out there. Or at least if you are, some of us are out there with you!

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3408 days

#2 posted 04-05-2009 07:56 PM

I wouldn’t even want to know what my shop says about me right now. I guess it’s time to put it in some kind of order. I have felt for some time that I really need to completely rearrange it into something better and I think I will feel better just walking into it so no, I agree with Will that you’re not just out there.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3417 days

#3 posted 04-05-2009 10:18 PM

There is an old proverb in spanish speaker countries that says: ”Dime con quien andas, y te dire quien eres”, something like “Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are”........I would say here “Show me your shop and I tell you the woodworker you are”...
You are not out there!

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3846 days

#4 posted 04-05-2009 10:33 PM

I think that most of us are right there with you. Shops are an extension of yourself, as Will said. And they are a more comfortable version of “the doghouse” when you need a retreat. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3466 days

#5 posted 04-06-2009 02:06 AM

“If the shop is where we live then the workbench s where we thnk and feel”
James Krenov.
I may not be a disciple of Krenov but he makes a point. You have to be comfortable in your workplace no matter what it is.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4029 days

#6 posted 04-08-2009 12:34 PM

Ironically some of the most beautiful woodwork often comes from the most disheveled looking shops. Put me in the school of thought thats discovered overt order and neatness seems too often to have no correlation with creativity.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 3736 days

#7 posted 04-08-2009 04:47 PM

(Begin Artistic Drivel Nobody Else Cares About)
Well, the point isn’t that a messy shop is incapable of good work, far from it. Were that the case then everyone’s shop would be like an operating theatre. The point is that some of us feel that the shop’s condition is a reflection of OUR inner states, our order or disorder of our minds, our spirits. Certainly some of the most talented people in history had what could only be called highly functioning, but yet highly disordered minds. So while I’d agree with you that “over order and neatness seems too often to have no correlation with creativity” is a true statement, the subject wasn’t creativity….but inner state. Those same amazing people were often some of the most unhappy people of their times. And while certainly some of them weren’t able to order their lives, for some people making that effort, that investment of energy into their own inner workings by working on the outward workings, for those people it can actually HELP with creativity. Not by creating or fostering it, but by paving the way to allow it to be expressed more fully, more easily, in less time, with less doubt or pain.

I’ve been an artist my entire life, from a family of artists. I’ve worked in messy spaces, and clean. I’ve been a messy artist, and a ordered one. Neither state affected the quality of the work. But they did have a strong effect on my feelings about it, and the ease I was able to put myself into a good mental state from which to create.
(End Artistic Drivel)

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4338 days

#8 posted 04-08-2009 04:51 PM

A messy shop is a productive shop.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3898 days

#9 posted 04-08-2009 10:51 PM

I’m glad you liked my video. I have spent a lot of time over the last few years making my shop MY SHOP.

I usually work on improving some aspect of my shop between each project. Sometimes its a small improvement, like adding a shelf to get something out of the way or even just cleaning up, and sometimes its a bigger improvement like my recent major remodel.

The inspiration to change something just about always comes from frustration about something during a project. For example, when I am sanding, I can never find the sandpaper I need, so I create a simple project to keep it organized.

As for my philosophy, the more your shop reflects YOU, I believe the more your work will reflect you, and you will be better able to create what you want and have fun doing it.

-- Happy woodworking!

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3672 days

#10 posted 04-08-2009 11:07 PM

I like the concept of having a clean showroom-organized shop, and I think it can help productivity (easier to find things for example) but don’t think that it’s a necessity. if a shop is a bit messy and dusty – it probably means that there are other projects in the pipe line that are more important than organizing the shop than it means that this shop produces messy products.

if you find the time to design, plan, and follow through a shop organization – more power to you. I think we could all benefit from such a thing.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3715 days

#11 posted 04-08-2009 11:14 PM


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

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