Thursday, February 26, 2009

Being Screwed: Reflections

"Good work leaves the world enriched and not diminished" -- Scott Russell Sanders, The Force of Spirit

One of the perils of being an independent craftsman is that you're a slave to the vagaries of your own aging body. When your body works, you work. When your body doesn't -- well, you can spend a lot more time blogging.

This x-ray shows my new, improved left foot. Four weeks ago, as I lay on the operating table in a very pleasant narcotic-induced fog, far away I heard someone drilling. I wasn't entirely sure, because I was singing to myself at the time; I think it was Knights in White Satin. But then I heard the unmistakable squeal of a screw snugging up in something hard: though the neurons weren't firing at peak efficiency, slowly the realization formed exactly what was being drilled and screwed. "Hey, that's my foot!" I giddily announced. Everyone in the green outfits seemed surprised by this information, I assumed because they'd been wondering where the noise was coming from, too. Then I noticed some movement behind my right shoulder where Mr. Anesthesiologist was standing, and I woke up with a cast on my foot

To move from feet to furniture: Although even in the orthopedic world there are joints fancier than screws, for my toe, screws were the best choice. As a furniture maker I often make the mistake of trying to build everything more perfectly than the integrity of the work demands. It costs money and the work's no better for it. Dovetails are perfect for drawers, but a waste of time on my feet and sometimes on a piece of furniture when a simpler, faster joint is better. Anyone with a little patience and unlimited time can eventually master the craft; the real challenge of being professional is knowing where to spend time, and where not. In my own professional life I constantly evaluate what makes work good, and what will make it valuable in the long run.


Blogger jholman said...

Its good that you can look back on all this and laugh

February 26, 2009 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Orion Adcock said...

This is precisely why I put mail in boxes for a living. Prior to this career I did cabinet work during the day as an employee and custom furniture in my own well equipped shop in my spare time. I continue to build but finding people that can afford to and and spend that money to buy one off custom works is very difficult. Selling yourself and getting your name and abilities out there is a full time job in it self.

March 28, 2014 at 11:03 AM  

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