I've been a craftsman for over 40 years. I remember as a kid my first go-cart had a built-in tool box. Despite the added weight, I felt it was more important to have the right tools at the right time rather than to go faster than the other guy. Because you never know when (or where!) your cart would break down. Besides, my cart was more for transportation, not racing. As then, I still believe in having the right tools. Although now my tools are better, slightly more advanced and I know vastly more in how to use them. Building, creating with my hands has long been a defining trait of my character.
Since those early days, working with wood has been a labor of love. It's malleable composition suits my pragmatic creativity. Wood has been my "go to" material for these many years. Whether it be building boxes, cabinets, tables or whatever else I could dream up, wood has been there satisfying my needs. Working with wood, producing objects of fine quality, beauty and function remains a preoccupation for me still to this day.
Over the long term, my skills have been refined, my intent more focused and my appreciation for the material ever expanding. It was my father who set me off on my path. He built himself a fine shop in our basement, complete with all the necessary tools. He built many pieces of furniture for our family. Dressers and desks, tables and chairs. Cabinets and a complete bar for entertaining. The quality of his craftsmanship set a high standard for me early on. It gave me something to strive for in my work and has since enriched my perspective on the craft.
Each time I return to the shop and begin a new project, I proceed with one goal in mind. That is to obtain the highest quality in finishing, form and function. I have long passed on the idea of going in to the shop only to spit something out by the end of the day. I most enjoy the laboring and time consuming effort that fine objects require. The process, for me, is both meditative and therapeutic. Heck, it's just plain fun.