Wednesday, January 21, 2009
ΟΣLD SCHOΣL DUDΣ
I make furniture but the making of it is only half of it. Running a business is like being a shark. Swim forward or die. Many people long for sinecures so they can do the same thing over and over and still get their money, but the creative destruction of the economy generally precludes that. Even the Post Office uses state-of-the-art machinery to fold, spindle and mutilate your mail now. Time marches on. Me, I just would like a Sunday off.
The swimming forward can be as simple as presenting the same old thing in a fresh way. Or maybe you're always at the cutting edge of consumer fashion and your ideas are obsolete while you're still thinking them. Perhaps you make it exactly the same but you change the font on your website instead of keeping a storefront to display your wares. Whatever, things change. You can sell Mid-century Modern furniture hand over fist right now to twenty-somethings who watched The Incredibles and soaked in the design vibe, but that wasn't a wise ware to hawk twenty years ago. But if you have hand skills, someone will always want you to do it. The buggy whip conglomerate might fold, but a few hardy souls can make bespoke buggy whips for the connoisseur if they got mad skills. The drones will get laid off and work at IKEA.
I ordered a lathe six months ago, to swim forward and make turned leg furniture too. It was delayed so long I sort of forgot about it. (It was ordered the same time as my replacement for my 350 pound doorstop) It arrived last week unexpectedly and broken. I don't have time to pay attention to it right now, but I was compelled to because I had to tell the manufacturer what's wrong with it so they could send me replacements for the busted stuff. Now it stands there in the corner winking at me. It reminds me of the boat I built four years ago and never launched. Its very existence is an accusation. Hurry up.
I went looking for video for lathe turning. Everybody is turning bowls I don't care about and nobody has any skills worth mentioning on YouTube. My only rule for claiming to be an expert in any walk of life is you have to at least be able to do it better than me. That's a lot rarer than it should be although I'm no great shakes at anything. At least that's what the nuns told all of us about everything every day, you Mr. Big Britches, you. Anyway, at least I found this guy.
Here's to you, crazy Greek dude with the sewing machine lathe and mad skew chisel skills. You rock.
Umm....I think it's a dude.