During the last lumberjocks competition in the summer, once I saw Karson’s cradle and read the description, I had an overwhelming feeling that his project would win the competition.
This time in the voting, I am not sure who will win the most votes from their peers. I can’t hardly wait to see who it will be this time.
I appreciate the folks that took the time, effort, and courage to put their projects out there for voting. Being voted on is a very scary thing for many people.
Over the weekend, at the KC Woodworking Show, there was a booth for a Carving Guild in Kansas City who were trying to drum up new members and promote their carving competition and show in March.
I saw their booth early in the day, but I didn’t even want to pause at their booth, as I could see from safely across the aisle that my work didn’t even come close to their work on display. I borrowed back my dad’s cane (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/268) to show Tracy Anderson at the Legacy Woodworking booth, and so unless I took it back to the car, the real carvers would see my inabilities clearly. So, I thought.
I avoided the confrontation with my ego for most of the day by “just missing” their booth. Then, late in the day, with my guard down while looking at magnetic feather boards, my wife was spotted by the carvers, and the started “hooting” her over heir booth, and so she naively followed their calls. She has that affect on men, and me, still today after almost 15 years of marriage.
I hope that the “hooting” was because she was carrying my dad’s cane, but she is pretty cute in blue jeans, so it could have been her that they really wanted to see better. You know I am joking (?).
Anyway, they looked at the cane and talked with her for a long while, while I tried to act like I didn’t notice that she was in the booth I had been avoiding all day.
Finally, there was no more avoiding it, so I lumbered over to see what they wanted. They tried and tried to talk me into entering my carving work in their upcoming March competition in Lee Summit, MO.
Now, I can look at what little work they had in their booth and tell that my work doesn’t hold it’s own, so I can’t see a good reason to drive to Lees Summit and pay an entry fee to find out for sure. I spent about 18 hours total building and scrimshawing the cane I had in my hand, while the painting on the carvings in the booth took more time alone, not to mention the carving.
So, I continued to graciously and repeatively deny their requests to enter their show, or join their guild. Joining the guild would be cool, but driving 2.5 hours for a monthly meeting is just too far, although I would surely love to sit once a month and learn from these guys. These carvers were friendly, supportive, encouraging, and fun to visit with. The type of folks we all want to hang out with. So, then why was I so scared to talk with them all day? It was my ego.
Anyway, back to the lumberjock voting, I realize from my own tender ego and phobias that putting a project in the ring to be voted on will make one, or two people very happy and feel “confirmed”. However, for the rest of us that don’t win, it will be humbling, and the experience can carry with it the feeling that “I won’t do that again…”
I do recommend that if you are feeling that way, to just push past it, I have to, we all have to. I think you will find it will be worth the effort over the years to show your work.
When you are making something that you know will be on display, it will push you higher, longer, faster, better, and more creative, than you would otherwise have done. Competition has that affect on all of us, no matter what the sport, or art.
Thanks to all who entered the competition,
P.S. I got my wife safely back home!
-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com