My wife and I went to a statewide arts and crafts show last weekend, and I think I may have learned something important. Or, more accurately, realized something I knew all along.
This annual show isnt your run of the mill event with lots of amateur work no scarecrow-on-a-stick decorations or fat-lady-bending-over yard ornaments here but first-class, juried work. Items on display ran the gamut, including textiles, paint and sculpture, metalwork, calligraphy and, of course, woodworking.
In fact, at a guess Id have to say that woodworking accounted for maybe a third of what we saw. Just about all types of woodworking were represented, but turning and carving dominated the offerings. And all of it was excellent.
Ive always felt humbled and envious when viewing outstanding carving, because I just cant do it. And while Im a pretty decent woodturner, I could never in a million years do some of the paper-thin bowls and hollow forms we saw. All I could do was admire, shake my head, and stand in awe of some of them on display. But there were other woodworking disciplines represented, too. Cabinetry and chairmaking, treenware, Christmas ornaments, and lots and lots of boxes. Now those are things I can do, and I risk bragging when I say I can do all of those pretty darned good.
Thats when I realized that these were just opposite sides of the same coin. I cant do hollow forms on the lathe, but its very possible that one of those turners isnt as good at box making as I am. But were both accomplished woodworkers.
I wonder if Harrison Ford ever looks at Billy Joel, and thinks, Wish I could do that. Or if Mark Twain ever envied Norman Rockwells abilities. Or visa-versa. Im guessing probably so.
When it comes to talents and abilities, I dont mean to imply that Im anywhere near those four gentlemens leagues, but the point is that creativity is universal - especially within a particular area, like woodworking.
And while I may envy the turner of those paper-thin bowls, Im more than satisfied with the woodworking gifts Ive been given. More than that, Im proud of them.
Till next time,