Last weekend was the 4th of July. Here in the US, often a big deal. It means little to me, other than noise & traffic. But this year, I did think about Independence some, because it has been just over a year since I left my job. For those new to the blog, for 20 years I had one of the best jobs a woodworker could want – I worked in a living history museum in Plymouth Massachusetts, making reproductions of 17th century furniture. I spent all day, all week in my workshop, talking to folks about what I was making. For various reasons, things there changed, & I struck out on my own. I have been very lucky, with teaching workshops, some custom work, DVDs, the Arts & Mysteries column at Popular Woodworking magazine & other writing – etc to piece together a living without that regular check. But I often get people asking “do I miss it?“
Of course I don’t miss the politics/bureaucracy parts of it – that’s what drove me out. But the part with the museum’s visitors I miss a lot. This past year has been full of adjustments, and none of it has been bad, just different. There’s great things about being out on my own. I can’t be fired, for instance. I can fail, but that’s different. And, when I’m home and something comes up, I can take some time to hang out with the kids and do something. When I mapped out the schedule last year, I had no inkling of how disjointed it would be. It’s much harder to maintain any continuity in my woodworking. In the old days, I was supposed to be at my bench day in & day out. I got a ton of stuff done that way!
One reason there’s not much on the blog these days is that there’s not much to show. You don’t want to see how I pack or un-pack from a trip, or how I make a list of what’s to be done before I go off again – and so on. As for bird photos, forget it. I have had no time to chase birds hardly at all, since Alaska & Maine in April/May.
It’s funny, I thought I’d be carving a lot of spoons this year, and I’ve hardly done any. I have had some furniture to make, and more to come. I am grateful to all who have helped me keep going here, students, customers, readers, etc. I appreciate it all. I have not quite solved my “no-real workshop space” but that sounds like it might get resolved. That will make a big difference. I think. But what do I know, I’m new at this.
Next stop – England. They have lots of oak carvings & funny birds there. Maybe I’ll see some.