Labor of love

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Those of us who have chosen to make woodworking our profession are, for the most part, no different than any other business owners. We have to concern ourselves with the requirements of running the business, making sure we can meet our payroll and cover the utilities, and that there is sufficient cash in the bank to keep the work flow going until the next "infusion".

It becomes pretty easy to lose touch with the things that motivated us to get into this line of work in the first place. Few of the people I have talked to over the years, who have chosen some form of woodworking as their livelihood, cite the "usual reasons" for going into business. They rarely talk about the financial gain or high profit margins, of "going public" or incorporating. Instead, they talk about the need to make things, to create, and in some cases to make art. To make something purely to satisfy your love of the process of making and ideally for someone you love.

But the pressures of running business are real and the need to make ends meet can often outweigh the visions of one of a kind art pieces or fine custom work. Often we just need to get a job in the shop. And with these demands on us, it's all too easy to lose touch with our original motivations. So, every now and then, I try to go into the shop and just make something for no reason other than that I wanted to make it. It does not have to be a large or impressive piece. Just something that is being done for love and not for money. Just to keep myself in touch with why I wanted to do this when I grew up.

D.D.

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