I've got this side project on at the moment; a writing project. It's taking me flippin' ages to be honest but it's bringing me into contact with some really interesting people. People I have to interview, about their jobs. So far, I've met a few people in the film industry, a basket maker, a theatre lighting technician, a set designer and last Friday, a joiner working on restoration projects for the National Trust. We met in his workshop. His workshop made of wood, that smells of wood and is full of tools…and wood.
Now you may remember, I have carpentry in my blood. Sawdust runs through my veins. The sight of a vintage Spear & Jackson saw or a handsome flat blade wood plane is enough to make me reach for my beechwood mortice and marking gauge. It's THAT exciting.
Designers, writers, coders; we're all making stuff. We all manipulate materials – either physical or metaphysical – chiselling away at things, dovetailing seperates into connecteds. Sawing things into sections before shaving away layers. Drilling into the undrilled. Finely sanding before waxing and polishing.
Whether it's words, pictures or commands, it's not that different to wood. Not really. It's just less natural, less grown. Manufactured material instead of harvested material. A few more steps away from the natural order of things.
I think the reason why woodwork has prevailing appeal, to me at least, is because of its proximity to nature and our more instinctive side. It's hunter gatherer stuff and once we've grown weary of the glossy mass produced world, the hand made and downright wonky, if I have anything to do with it, tuggs at our hearts.