It has been a little over a year since I started shifting my attention from sculptures and spoons to furniture as an endeavor to improve my lacking precision skills.
In early 2018, I had set myself a deadline to complete several Acanthus leaves. But instead of completing this challenge (I stopped after 2 acanthus leaves) I realized something.
There was a better way to improve my skills in the way I wanted to, and that was by making furniture.
I wanted to become more precise in my woodworking and care about planning in advance of a project rather than just diving in, like I used to do. Furniture is nearly impossible to execute without a clear plan – perfect!
The main thing that was driving me in those times remains. My main motivation is to improve my skills. I don’t go to a woodworking school so I have to be my own mentor, which is tough at times.
But all the hard work certainly has paid off. I feel happier with my creations than I did before and I think they look more professional.
My sawing skills have greatly improved, I can plane a board flat, I can sharpen much better than I could one year ago, etc. Setting yourself some goals can have a big impact on the quality of your work.
But it doesn’t end here, this is a mere reflection-and-looking-to-the-future moment. Making chairs was my favorite thing to do out of the projects I completed last year. Joinery and measuring my least.
Thus I will set myself the goal for the next 12 months to make more projects that involve my marking gouge and my square.
Because inside the comfort zone one slowly dies away.
Though I will still be making chairs and stools on the side, I find it important to remain on top of improving my skills and techniques and not fall into the trap of doing something you love over and over again. Challenges pave the path for becoming a better woodworker.
I am thinking about making a shaker table on of these days as a first step in that direction.
But I think I’ll make the legs taper out the opposite way.
Off to the lumberyard!