Finding the good in simple things

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Blog entry by jjw5858 posted 04-11-2013 10:28 PM 1907 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lately I have been very fortunate to connect with many important artisans. All of this spoon carving business, website, and wood crafting has not only shown me things about myself, but has begun to show me the interest and support that other people can supply back onto me and this work I have been doing. I am very grateful for the positive communication. Thank you!

It is nice to leave the daily news turned off and make some of our own positive headlines I think. Far too much negativity and violence shown all of the time. So I try like many of you out there with our skills to connect with people through the love of woodcraft.

My wish is to get more younger people involved, especially youths that have next to nothing growing up. They need this in their lives, a positive path to earn and learn skills through honest hard work.

I feel the push for excellence in youth sports is extremely out of control in our current times. Athletics can be a great experience but one that I feel is becoming too important while kicking away the arts and crafts young people benefit from as well if not more than sports.

Competition is all well and good, but in art there is expression and everyone has their own style and place where their creative ideas have a stage to be represented.

I feel it is an obligation of all of us older people to keep the spirit of craft work alive and well, especially traditional woodwork.

Woodworking with traditional hand tools was the first time in my life where I understood that if I wanted something…..I had to make it all on my own as well as do the work. That is not the worst lesson to learn at 39…lol. Now soon to be 42 I feel my life has been enriched by these lessons in the grains of mighty timber.

Once you pour your blisters, sweat and soul into making shavings at the shaving horse there is no other way of making something that can satisfy you in any other way. Your muscles with each row of the draw knife grow sore but your spirit is destined to carrying the ideas until the last shave is had. That feeling of looking down the grain, feeling its shapes you made with it and knowing the job was well worth the grit you mustered to make it is what this is all about.

I think it is a primal revival that many more than a few people crave to take on in this life of touch screens and computer tablets.

It is a visit to surviving your own ideas. It’s finding the paths to take with each tool to tame the knots of pine and wrestle the stubborn oak. Once your path makes these footsteps to the past of craft work, your realization is that this style of making things is your forever future.

At the end of the day this is just my version of making some sense in a fast pace world. Everyone has their own road to walk, I am thankful mine has brought me here.

When things get too complicated I would suggest to enjoy short moments and find the good in simple things.

Thank you for enjoying a little time with me here in text.

Keep making shavings and enjoy the video and some blues giiiiiiitarrrr.

Be well,

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-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

10 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3867 days

#1 posted 04-11-2013 10:57 PM

Good words and great video.

I think you will like this one too.

Boom boom boom from the 60’s

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30678 posts in 3797 days

#2 posted 04-12-2013 12:08 AM

Your instructions are wonderful. Great job.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Mauricio's profile


7170 posts in 4610 days

#3 posted 04-12-2013 01:07 AM

Always enjoy watching the creation of shavings. Thanks for sharing.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View clieb91's profile


4267 posts in 5394 days

#4 posted 04-12-2013 02:12 AM

Joe, Really cool video and great words to go by. I love having my daughter in my shop with me and being able to relate daily lessons she has learned back to the shop or use them in contrast. She seems to always be able to relate. It really is something that is in all of us that we seem to be getting far away from.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Brit's profile


8510 posts in 4301 days

#5 posted 04-12-2013 10:52 AM

Well I don’t know what I enjoyed more, the video or the soundtrack by Rev. Blind Lemon Joe. :o)

Thanks for sharing.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4263 days

#6 posted 04-12-2013 12:26 PM

Very well spoken.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 4083 days

#7 posted 04-13-2013 09:17 AM

” primal revival” – yep, sounds good to me.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 4299 days

#8 posted 04-15-2013 02:02 PM

I agree it is good to get the youth involved.
Keep on pickin.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 4854 days

#9 posted 04-18-2013 10:25 AM

Nice article, my good and young.

I hope you’ll forgive my small smile as I read that you are among those who are “older”. Since I’m almost twice your age I can only think how nice it would be to go back to 42.

My own experience started with a love for the graphic arts, drawing with a number 2 pencil on the white cardboard that comes out of new shirts. It was just at the end of the Great Depression and the expense of a pad of real white paper was something to take seriously. Watercolors came along later with pastels and oils, silk screen printing and pen and ink all coming in time.

And somewhere in the passage of time there was my first contact with wood, a “scooter” made from a wooden orange crate, a plank and a pair of clamp-on roller skates. It was crude, yes, but there were many hours of fun in the result. And fun has always been a part of woodworking despite the work, the mistakes and the frustration, there was the fun and joy the came from a completed project, not only for the finished product but for the things learned, the satisfaction of seeing it through and the happiness of others for whom it was done.

I’m happy to say, you and I are on the same wavelength in our regard for the art of woodworking. While making a repair to a broken chair may not be as artistic as carving something beautiful, there is still Art. I always refer to the definition of art as Skill. Something learned and refined with work and maturity.

May our “young” come to learn just how satisfying it can be to make something from wood. It beats playing a computer game any day.



-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View drlamb's profile


18 posts in 3840 days

#10 posted 04-18-2013 02:00 PM

I love the thought behind your piece here, and I completely agree with the sentiment. I think a lot of people today, not just the youth, are in need of a “primal revival” – learning to value the fruits of manual effort. I’ve tried many things over the years, and find woodworking to be one of the best means of satisfying that need. What I would love to see, (and be a part of) is the development of a place where our youth could go and hang out, and learn what they can accomplish with a little hard work, imagination and acquired skill. I see this as a place where each person learns at their own pace, and helps guide others not yet as accomplished. Competition, other than within themselves, must be forgotten in this sort of place. Teamwork and sharing are a necessity.

-- Dan

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