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"How's Your Underside Looking" --by RusticWoodArt

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Blog entry by frank posted 01-20-2007 04:22 PM 1005 reads 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

”How’s Your Underside Looking”

Two important points of perspective that I have come to learn, is that by knowing how to discern before the storm, is then being ably prepared to circumvent from within the storm, when it is upon me, and therefore give thanks for the storm, since I am now empowered to manipulate my course through this situation of cause and effect.

And so as workers of wood, one might ask how does ‘cause and effect’ relate to me….”I just want to work some wood and be pleased by the results I get and if another person comes along and likes what I have done than this is just great or the icing on the cake.”

Any woodworker and yes, I do prefer the use of the term ‘workers of wood’, who thinks that the above statement is true of him//her-self, is in reality, only deceiving to their own selves. We as workers of wood are ego freaks, yes I am and so are you, so come on and admit it, be truthful about yourself and you will find that self will be true to you! Now lets all say this one more time together now, I am an ego freak who loves to express my-self in the things I create. Once you can admit to that, you are well on the way to being ‘the cause’ of your wood art and not just another casualty of ‘the effect’ of ones wood art.

Once I have begun to understand the interpretation of what I have just said, then I will be better enabled to go forth and translate my vision of what is in the wood, into a transformed piece of art that causes me to achieve the standard of approval that I am worthy of. So then one might just about now ask, where is this going and where does all this ‘cause and effect’ come into my life at working wood?

You are not the victim of a situation and when a situation comes your way, you can in turn choose to be the cause for the betterment of that situation and not the effected result which leads to demise. Let my state this another way by saying; “I am prepared to induce my success in any crisis of situation that comes along since I control my cause of approval! And yes their was a time before learning this, that I lumbered along and counted myself lucky if I managed to survive a situation, since I only knew the understanding of wrongful thinking, that I was at the mercy of situations that gave birth to crisis and I was happy to survive their effects.

So getting back to the original thought and title of this article: “How’s Your Underside Looking”...., and “two important points of perspective that I have come to learn….” What and oh yes, maybe you have not thought of it that way, you thought those two important points where about ‘cause and effect’, ha, well so goes the twist of fate and the fun of blogging and being able to say and play at what I do. Ha! I was just thinking that if I wanted to really play around with ‘cause and effect’ according to the rules of blogging and ‘search engines’, I could have named this piece; ‘show me your underside’ or even ‘show me your bottom’ and Martin might have really gotten some traffic to this website. In this way of thinking again, I am the cause of the rating since I know how to get results, instead of just being at the mercy of the results that can effect me by not being prepared.

Two important points of perspective that I have come to learn are, when you are showing a piece of wood as ‘wood art’:

1.) Folks are going to want to touch and stroke that piece of wood and if your wood is not up to this, then you are going to be ‘effected’ by the results you get when they sharply pull away their hand from your work. That hand of the customer is only an extension of their mind and what is incorporated in their mind is the image of how your wood art should feel. You did not tell them how your wood should feel and that definition of how the wood should feel is one that they themselves wrote in over a time of past experiences of touching wood. And make no mistake, if you do not allow your wood art to be touched by their hands of flesh, you the artist have already lost. If you have ever watched the hand that goes to seeking out a piece of wood and then watch that hand sharply drawn back in the ‘effect’ of disgust at not being smooth, then you will also know the sinking feeling that follows in the pit of your stomach. To the artist who presents smooth wood to the customer, that artist will watch in amazement as the public is drawn to the touch, feel and stroke of the wood as he knows that he is ‘the causer’ of this moment. The good news is that this is one way ‘to cause’ an art sale!

2.) Folks are going to want to see, touch, feel and inspect the underside of your piece of art. I have watched folks get down on their hands and knees at shows so that they can look at the underside. If your piece on the underside does not match or excel in quality of work as to your topside, then once again you are the loser who has succumbed to the ‘effect’ of being found as not being prepared for the quality of situation!

Whenever I have seen this happen, and notice that these folks are down on their knees inspecting my art, I am always fast to engage them in talk and if possible, to make it easier for them to view the piece from the underside, even by turning the piece over or by standing the art upright in the case of a bench or table. I have taken and continue to take a positive joy in causing my attention to detail, to be a pleasing and effective form of artistic expression that is therefore passed on to those who are looking at my art.

I might add here that I have never been afraid of anyone wanting to view my wood art with the intent that they might be wanting to copy or steal my design. Most of what I do in the form of RusticWoodArt is one of a kind and though I do have some pieces that I will reproduce, I am always only too happy to share the ‘how of’ and ‘how to’ so that any and all, may take what I have and make their own. I tell folks that I have been blessed with so many ideas running around in my head, that if I were to give them all out today, then all I have to do is ask for more ideas and I will be given more. There is a funny side note to this as I remember a few years ago I was in the gallery of a well known supplier of rustic furniture in the upstate region of NY, and I just happened to be down on my hands and knees looking at what was being sold out of his gallery. Well you can imagine my surprise, when I heard him loudly describing to me how he has removed or thrown out the many who come to steal and copy his designs and then go on to sell his rustic work as their own. First of all it never was his anyways since he has put it on public display. I told him I was sorry to have offended him, but that in reality I was only seeking a chance to admire his work and I would never think of imitating the work in his gallery as I had too many ideas running around in my own head looking for avenues of escape. I did feel sorry for this individual after leaving, since what I had seen from the underside was a story of metal brackets at corner joints and metal wood screws, not exactly what I call original hand made rustic.

To my way of thinking anyone who wants to copy, take pictures of, or take my design, this is only the highest form of compliment that you could ever pay me or any artist. The ideas that I have been freely given, these same ideas I freely give away as taking no thought to charging for. I do charge for my works of wood art, I do charge to demonstrate how to make furniture in a workshop setting, but those ideas that run in my imagination, these I freely give away and this is in truth how I keep the supply freshly coming! FREELY RECIEVED, FREELY GIVEN!!!

....and so show me your underside….

....that I might touch, feel and inspect….

This piece of wood art I have named “Ezra’s Wood Pit” which is a name I have taken from Nehemiah 8:4 where it says that Ezra stood at a ‘pulpit of wood’. And so I have taken the word pulpit and did a word play on it by calling pulpit a ‘wood pit’. Pulpit to me sounds like something that is pulling in and therefore I have watched this piece of wood art pull folks into “Ezra’s Wood Pit”. Folks cannot keep their hands off of it and will just stand there talking to me so they can continue stroking the wood.

And yes the top is ‘spalted maple’ finished in tung oil and hand rubbed varnish, while joined to a base of pine that is finished in colored shellac.

You all have a very good day!!!
Frank
RusticWoodArt

rusticwoodman@gmail.com
www.frank.wordpress.com

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/



19 comments so far

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 3872 days


#1 posted 01-20-2007 04:58 PM

Frank: again you hit the proverbial nail on the head for me, and have given me lots of things to think over while I work in the shop today by myself.

A very disappointing thing I found at the Western Design Conference is the “rumor report” that the team of judges just walked right by all of the projects on display, viewing only the up-side, walk-by view, as they made their selections for prizes. It was “reported” that they didn’t even pause at most of the entries.

I had spent a ton of time sanding, filling, finishing, and making my entry beautiful/smooth/finished in every square inch of my table/chairs/china hutch. My doors worked flawlessly, with identical gaps around each door and drawer front. I wanted people to notice that my doors were real tenons, not router table/shaper bit cut rails and stiles. I wanted people to notice the unevenly spaced through-dovetails in all four corners of each of my figured walnut drawers. I wanted the judges to notice that my chairs held a body in perfect posture, designed for many hours of eating and laughing around the table. And I wanted them to notice that I sanded and filled and smoothed for tactical wonder every square inch of the top and bottom of my table and it’s base. However, none of that would be noticed in a walk-by judging, or inspection.

I don’t do this type of extra effort on just show pieces, this has become a point of design in all of my work. One that seems to truly worry my wife as she tries to pay bills during the long spans of time that come between the finishing up of each project. I have often wondered as I sand and finish the inside/underside of a project if I am just being anal-retentitive (spelling?), and wasting my time and causing my family to live with less money. Ultimately, I figure that this effort costs me about 1-2 major pieces of furniture each year, affecting the bottom line of a business for sure.

I learned several years ago that my half-efforts were noticeable & impressive to the uniformed, casual observer/shopper. What I decided is that I wanted woodworkers to be impressed, not just people that don’t understand the work involved. What I discovered, is that my major pieces I have built over the past 24 months are in the homes of guys that are hobby woodworkers. It is for them, and those that come after them, that I think the effort is worth it.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone suggest that I sell my work on eBay, I wouldn’t need to sell anything. I feel that for newly built wood-art especially, getting someone to bid a fair price based on three or four digital images is not possible. I succombed to the pressure once and I tried to sell a walking cane on eBay one time just to test my theory. The top bid was 1/3 of what I consistently sell them for in a small retail store, enough said for me.

I think people that shop eBay are mostly looking for a bargain, and the digital image does not lend itself to touch, smell, texture, and smoothness, nor the look of the underside.

This is why I think it is imperative for a woodworker to show their work in juried shows, and if not, at least attend a show and view the works of others. Photos in a brochure don’t tell you the whole story. Shadows and Lighting can highlight and hide things we don’t want a photo to show.

I found work at the Western Design conference that cost two times what I paid for my house, and the finish was so rough it felt like sandpaper. All it needed was an elbow crunching, thorough going over with #0000 steel wool, and another thin coat of lacquer, to get it buttery smooth. Another 12-16 hours of work, and it would have been perfect. I almost offered to help him with it the night before the show opened, but elected to keep my mouth shut so that I didn’t offend him. I went away assuming that he was unable to get it done in time for the show, and opted to bring the piece he had, instead of being a no-show. I assumed that maybe his wife had a baby that week, or a death in the family, or some sickness in his own body. Nobody would show a piece with such a rough finish in that type of venue without a major problem in their life.

Excellent blog note from you, and a great challenge to all of us. I would vote for you to be on a judging team any time, as I want to be judged in the manner you explain.
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View DaveC's profile

DaveC

39 posts in 3616 days


#2 posted 01-20-2007 05:42 PM

How true. I get a great deal of satisfaction from showing my work. Also, if I am truthful with myself nothing I have made has ever been completely my own idea. I get inspiration from other’s work. Whether it is the color scheme of the piece, or the design, most if not all my ideas come from, at least in part, someone else’s work.

-- Dave.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3781 days


#3 posted 01-20-2007 07:24 PM

My work was pretty simple till I was influenced by a collection of pieces I saw in a book by Ralph Kylloe, a look at the Western Design Conference and now a bunch lumberjocks. I’ve also had that experience of seeing a $8,000.00 artistic entertainment center that had tacky metal slides and a finish that felt like a coat of lindseed over an unsanded log.
Frank I’m always dancing between an egotistic pride and a selfless channel of creativity.

View Don's profile

Don

2603 posts in 3644 days


#4 posted 01-21-2007 03:43 AM

Frank, thanks for this blog. It’s got my mind racing at a number of levels.

I’ve always described wood-art as being every sensuous. I defy people to simply look at, but not touch a piece. As a mater of fact, if I attend a show where the exhibits are roped off, I quickly lose interest. And the ubiquitous “Don’t Touch” sign is an anathema to me. It’s the quickest way to put my mind into neutral and dampen my interest.

And it’s not just touch but also smell. The first think I do when inspecting a piece is visualize it. Does it look appealing? Does it beg me to touch it? If it doesn’t, it has failed at the primary level of visual appeal. But if the pieces says to me, ‘touch me – stroke me, let your fingers smooth my straight lines and curves, then it has passed the first test. That is why, Frank, I related so strongly to your words, ”...the wood should feel is one that they themselves wrote in over a time of past experiences of touching wood. And make no mistake, if you do not allow your wood art to be touched by their hands of flesh, you the artist have already lost.”

And then you said, ”...if you have ever watched the hand that goes to seeking out a piece of wood and then watch that hand sharply drawn back in the ‘effect’ of disgust…”. That’s the right word, ‘disgust’. Who taught them what it should feel like. I would suggest that nature taught them. They have picked up river stones and beach pebbles, they have stroked the bare flesh of a Madrona/Arbutus Tree or Australian River Gum, and dare I say a baby’s cheek. They have learned by experience that the inviting smooth texture of natural things is rewarded with a sensuously smooth touch. If the experience is otherwise, one recoils in horror.

As an aside, I remember being attracted as a teenager to a beautify girl. I thought she had the face of an angel. At a school dance, I asked her to dance with me. To my delight she agreed – to my horror, she had alligator skin on her hands. (Looking back she probably had a temporary skin condition.) My reaction must have been noticeable for she made a comment about it. What was my problem? The touch message did not match the visual message.

The last sensual message that helps us relate to wood-art is smell. I have a fairly sensitive sense of smell and am blessed with being able to distinguish quite subtle fragrances. So if it’s a small piece I lift it to my nose. (I may even pass it by my cheek on the way to confirm it’s smoothness.)

Each of these sensual inspections are progressive. My inspection does not progress to the next level until it has passed the previous.

Now here’s the second level of response.

Frank, you provokingly entitled this blog, “How’s Your Underside Looking?”. But I’m equally interested in your insides. How much do you finish? Are the bottom and sides (inside and out) of your drawers, the inside of your chests, finished with as much attention to perfection as the tops. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these portions of a chest of drawers French polished.

And my small boxes. I have to be honest – I have paid much less attention to the underside of my boxes than I have the visible surfaces. If I have a sliding tray, the bottom side gets less attention. But I have been thinking for some time that this is a mistake. A small box is different from a chest of drawers in this primary respect. It begs to be picked up and turned over and inspected within every square inch of its existence. Not quite so with larger furniture pieces. So this blog has just changed a work procedure of CanuckDon.

Now for my final level of response.

I have not hidden the fact that I find it difficult to create, entirely from within, a design that appeals to me. Now, I have no problem knowing when a design is or is not appealing, but I have long struggled with creating my own pieces. I tend to study successful pieces and interpret them slightly differently, but by enlarge, my pieces tend to reflect the primary design influence of other artists. In fact, its for this reason that I am loathe to call myself an artist.

Gee, Frank – stop doing this! And there, Mark, I can be as long-winded as the next guy! LOL!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

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oscorner

4564 posts in 3778 days


#5 posted 01-21-2007 06:51 AM

Frank, that is a beautiful piece and your thoughts are always worth reading.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 3673 days


#6 posted 01-21-2007 03:34 PM

Hi Mark;
Ha! I just love your postings Mark, as your writings are always worth reading and ‘full of meat’. In the New Testament, the book of Hebrews,(and yes, some have wondered what ‘he’ ‘brew’ed) and chapter 5, Paul talks of those who have need of milk and then those who have moved on to ‘solid food’ as for the mature.

What I have come to understand about your writings is there is always that content there below the surface that challenges me to go on and eat the ‘meat of your words’. When I read as to what you share, I find that you are very gifted and able to open up and give parts of yourself as coming from your frustrations to your successes. This includes how you live in a world that includes; God, family, church, self, and your working with wood and all this you connect with your faith.

I also know just what you mean when you write about time, effort, money just getting ready for a show and then to coming to an understanding that ‘the judges, were just doing a walk by’! All the time one puts into a piece just to get it ready and thinking that this will make an impression on some judge and then seeing that they just did not care to stop and even try your door out or look inside or underside….well, you know since you have been there.

I also know and can relate to the time between selling a piece and that next sell and then there is my wife who wonders if what I am doing is really worth it or as she says, “Frank, you are a dreamer” and then she goes on to explain that “thank God, you have me to keep you on track” and yes, I do thank God for my wife.

And yes, then there are also those many who tell me, “go and sell on ebay”, “stop taking so much time and do it faster”, “please stop being such a perfectionist”, and “its all about quanity Frank and there is no room for quality if you want to get ahead”, so see, I’ve been there also. Actually I’m going to save that one on ‘being a perfectionist for a future blog.

The bottem line here Mark is that there are some of us here at LumberJocks and elsewhere on this planet called earth who are as I joking like to say, “we were born in the wrong century and now my need is understanding the ‘how to’ of getting along in this place of time that I am at.” I have learned to do this by always giving thanks, and I say thanlful thanks many times over and during the course of a day!!!

My way of working is one that I have set my own standards to and these standards are what keep me on track and focused, as I sail on this ocean of dreams in a world where I must work day by day. I will save this one also for a future posting, ‘about where I get my standards from’.

Thank you again for your thoughts which you have expressed so well!!!
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3766 days


#7 posted 01-21-2007 04:10 PM

I can’t help but make a comment on what Don said about being able to touch the exhibited items. I had some carvings entered at our county fair once, & someone liked one of my carvings so much, that he started to walk out with it. Luckily the person in charge caught him at the door.
By the way Frank, I love your pulpit.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 3673 days


#8 posted 01-21-2007 05:04 PM

Hi Dave;
—-ha!, is this not true of all workers of wood. “I get a great deal of satisfaction from showing my work.” Again its the ‘ego thing’ in competition with our ‘satisfaction level’ that keeps us going for more, more and more.

And yes, you are very correct in what you have said here; ”....most if not all my ideas come from, at least in part, someone else’s work.”

When I look at another’s piece of work, I am open to what that work of art can say to me and how I interpet that work, is how far can I let my imagination go. And so with that in mind, I go and sit in silence and dream of what shall yet be, and in this dreaming of another piece of wood, art is born.

Thank you for your comment!
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 3673 days


#9 posted 01-21-2007 05:17 PM

Hello Dennis;
—-yes, you have expressed youself and the work of the artist in you, very well in what you have said here; “Frank I’m always dancing between an egotistic pride and a selfless channel of creativity.

WOW! You have packed dyno-dynamite into those words and revealed a side of your self that can only be known by your inner self. “Egotistic Pride” and a “Selfless Channel of Creativity”, there you go Dennis, how about writing up your thoughts on that, in one of your blogs!!!

Thanks for your comments!
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 3673 days


#10 posted 01-21-2007 06:32 PM

Hello Don;
—-your speaking thoughts, are of such that I can feel and relate to, such as this one; ”I’ve always described wood-art as being every sensuous. I defy people to simply look at, but not touch a piece.” And Don, what is the first thing that happens when we are told to ‘not touch’, ‘not taste’, ‘not feel’, ‘not see’ and to ‘not hear’? At least to me, this kind of ‘sign language’ drives my senses into rebellion to a place where I now can say; “never cared much for what the ‘they have said’ crowd had to say anyway, especially when they go posting there signs all over the place. Yes this is one of the fastest ways to shut down my senses!

And also Don, thanks for asking this question; ”Frank, you provokingly entitled this blog, “How’s Your Underside Looking?”. But I’m equally interested in your insides. How much do you finish? Are the bottom and sides (inside and out) of your drawers, the inside of your chests, finished with as much attention to perfection as the tops.

And I will reply to this question in another future blog post in the near future, actually all the comments here on this post have given me many future posts to write about. And for this I am thankful once again, since this just gives me a chance to write about myself and how I interpret myself in the wood art I create. Just another way of saying, ”Ego Expressions of an Ego Centered Artist

I understand what you are saying here, “I tend to study successful pieces and interpret them slightly differently, but by enlarge, my pieces tend to reflect the primary design influence of other artists. In fact, its for this reason that I am loathe to call myself an artist.

So I go on and say this, all the world around me is the expression of a ”MASTER ARTIST” and so I will quote:

“Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.”
“O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.”
“Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: So shall I meditate on thy wondrous works.”

I can not walk outside each day without seeing this ONE’S art, I can not work in the woods without seeing this ONE’S art and as I work in this ONE’S landscape of art on this piece of canvas called earth, where I am expressed by this ONE’S brushstrokes as art and just so I am thankful for a chance to learn from this ONE’S art. And so, who am I that I should not also feel free to interpret what I see as wood art, which comes from my hands as I give them freedom to express also the joy that I see in the world around me and to also call myself an artist. All art comes by way of an artist, and so I will call and speak on those things which are of very good report in me, as I express my art and call myself the named artist!

Once again Don, thank you for your comments!!!
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

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frank

1492 posts in 3673 days


#11 posted 01-21-2007 06:39 PM

Hi Mark;
—-and so as to keep you apart from another Mark, I will also add “oscorner”!

I thank you for your kind words and I give thanks that our thoughts can touch and ‘be worth reading’!!!

Thank you!
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 3673 days


#12 posted 01-21-2007 06:49 PM

Hi Dick;
—-ha! Whenever I do a show there is a thought I always keep close by; “Out of Sight, Is Out of Mind”, actually most shows have good security and my pieces tend to run to ‘bulk size of girth’.

Thanks for your comment on “Ezra’s Wood Pit” A pulpit to some, a lectern to other’s but to me, a lovely piece of wood!

Thank’s Dick.
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3627 days


#13 posted 01-22-2007 01:07 AM

a lesson I learned when my daughter started competing in figure skating competitions was a journey of “ah ha” moments and times of frustration, disappointment, and even anger.
What did we learn? 1) you don’t skate for the judges, because they aren’t looking at you half of the time; 2) you don’t skate for your coach, because he/she has his/her own motivations, and 3) who do you skate for? You – you skate to express yourself and to improve on past experiences; you skate to overcome barriers that you have experienced; you skate because you love skating and you perform because you love performing and you love the feeling of being confident enough to step infront of a large crowd and skate well and skate “errors”.

I use this information now, as a Life Guide: what is your intention? Is your intention to impress others? Is it to just make some money? Is it to just express yourself? Is it making something that you have put your heart and soul into, and that you are proud of? Is it more? Is it a combination of the above. Knowing WHAT you want achieve helps clarify HOW you will go about living the dream, making it a reality. If it doesn’t feel right, then you probably haven’t been honest about the intention or the process /effort that you have put into it. “To thine own Self be true” and the rest shall fall into place.

The other thought that I’d like to comment on is the subject of “ownership”. Something that I have noticed in the past 6 months of research on other subjects I have seen a huge trend to the concept of “open source” – that means that their is no copyright, no ownership of ideas. I think that perhaps our society is taking a turn towards being “one”. We are here to support each other, work together, share, and provide for each other, without the need to gain from such interaction or get involved in any “one-upmanships”.

A few years ago claiming ownership to ideas was VERY important to me and I made it known that “I thought of this/that” or “I designed that…”. Today, although I might still make such a comment, it does not come from a place of ego-need. It is just a statement.
Hopefully my ideas will spread through our community and beyond, making a difference in someone’s life. To make a difference is my intention, after all, so why would I want to put it in a box? And so, I have set my words free.

This setting free of my thoughts, as Frank says, does not end my thinking, or leave me empty. It just leaves room for more thinking, more thoughts, and more ideas to change the world.

And now, as I enter the world of woodworking, I hope that my work will some day also inspire and add to the enjoyment of someone’s life.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 3872 days


#14 posted 01-22-2007 07:07 PM

I wish we lived closer together Frank, I would enjoy sitting with you often. I guess it is the power of the web that enriches our lives with people like yourself who may never actually shake my hand, but can still shake my heart,

Appreciate you,
Mark

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 3872 days


#15 posted 01-22-2007 07:16 PM

I found the quote below written in a book several years ago, and paraphrased it and posted it on my website. I think it pretty clearly communicates who I am, in that I found it interesting. Since reading the quote in the book, it has affected my thought process in the area of “business” pretty significantly, and it might help some others as well.

I heard someone say to me once that we don’t need to hear a person describe themselves to understand them. Rather, we listen to what jokes they laugh at, and see what books they read. The more I have thought about that, the more truth I see in it.

Just think what people can “learn” about us from seeing what TV shows we watch, which commercials we find funny, and which internet sites we visit. Whew, tough huh?

One guy told me to show him my checkbook (debit card report now), and then he could really see what was important to me.

Ok, ok, enough pain, here’s the quote:

”A basket maker on Nantucket excited the natural instincts of a visiting businessman. “How much would you wholesale those baskets for if I bought in quantity?”
“Same price I quoted you for one,” was the reply.
“But I’ll buy hundreds and resell them in my store.”
“Can’t make hundreds. I sell what I make. You got the price.”
“But you could make a lot of money. Look, set up an assembly line. Hire a couple of kids, teach ‘em how it’s done, and you’re in business.”
The basket maker looked up from his work and asked, “Why?”

(adapted from Scrimshaw a Traditional Folk Art, A Contemporary Craft.)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

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