About two weeks ago I met the editor of Home & Cabin magazine in my small workshop in the east end of St. John's. He was there to talk to me about what I do, why I do it and where I'm going with it. The man was friendly, a woodworker himself and enthusiastic about the art.
The interview and some pictures from that morning will be published in the Spring issue of Home & Cabin. I do hope to live up to the reputation of the magazine. In the meantime, I'd like to share some points from the heart of that conversation: my philosophy on woodworking.
I should begin by saying that my philosophy is very much influenced by the Siberian-American woodworker James Krenov. While one might see the influence of others in my designs, I would say that Krenov has guided me in a more general and more important sense. He has informed me of why I do what I do, rather than the how to do it.
The centre of that philosophy is that the woodworker's sensitivity and sensibility is the poet's sensitivity, the potter's sensitivity, the painter's sensitivity. Whatever the medium, the creative spirit behind the expression is the same. We, as woodworkers, or composers, or artists, are simply the instrument to be operated.
Breath, instrument, music.
That unnameable force moves through us and out comes the music: the poem, the pottery, the piece of furniture.
When a woodworker is stubborn or falls into reproductions or repetitions, the creative wind stops flowing through him, and his work suffers. The goal, then, is to stay out of his own way, to focus less on the self and allow the free movement of the spirit into and out of him. Then the work is good, and fresh, even if not modern by common understanding.
To read more about me and my work, pick up the Spring issue of Home & Cabin magazine when it is published, and follow this blog as I expand on my philosophy in more posts like this one.