One thing that really helped me learn and develop my woodworking skills was having an abundance of materials. Having an adequate supply on hand meant that it wasn’t so valuable that I felt the need to be especially careful using it. This allowed me to experiment and take chances with less to lose.
Failure, or more precisely, his relentless push to fail, is the single most defining thing about Chris’ work.
Working with live edge slabs further improved my abilities. This material presented unique design opportunities and challenged my mind, as often there were no straight edges or reference surfaces on which to rely. The knowledge and experience gained here helped me conquer my future designs with complex curves, twists and angles (although a few designs still elude successful completion). I came up with many of these designs as a challenge to see if I could really make them a reality (many I did, some I did not).
I recall that at one point, I actually believed that everything had already been done. Now I know that is not true. Never one to simply follow what’s already been done, I am always looking for ways to do things differently.
A lot of my work is inspired by the thought: “I wonder if it would be possible to…” or “I wonder what would happen if…”
Venturing down paths unknown can be difficult, both technically and mentally. You don’t have the reassuring thought that “it’s already been done before, so I can do this too”. To realize new ideas takes a great deal of belief in yourself. It is definitely helpful to have time and materials to invest in the process. Having a good assortment of tools, visualization skills, and a healthy imagination is helpful too.
Although I feel that being able to do something well is important, knowing that you can carry on after something has gone sideways is even more valuable. This confidence, this faith that you can succeed is key in being comfortable taking chances.
The slides in this post were used in my PechaKucha presentation.