My Ethos

As promised in my last post, I wanted to get a little more into where I stand on things. Here goes.

Last year I bought Grandpa’s Workshop from the peeps at Lost Art for my oldest daughter. The younger one will get one eventually if she decides to hang out in Daddy’s Workshop too. Christmas was pretty lame last year due to a serious job scare. In the end, I was safe but we decided to not get gifts for anyone but our daughter. This book, along with it’s inscription was my big gift to her.

She spent Christmas week asking to read it and learning the names of all the tools.

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Life is quite fleeting, but your legacy lives on if it’s meaningful and understood. I still tell the story of how my great-grandfather came over, alone, from Italy when he was 8 years old and then subsequently brought his brothers and sisters. I never met this man but his legacy precedes him; therefore, no introduction is necessary. Capish? My note is meant to be a message to future generations about the things I hold dear:

Explore. Family. Reverence. Craft.

I hope to teach my girls the meaning of these words as they age.

Explore. I hope for them to be adventurous and leave the nest often. Branching out and challenging your norms is healthy and vital to continual learning. They don’t have to explore a good Harry Hood jam or a Thos. Moser catalog, but it couldn’t hurt.

Family. The first and most important institution we experience is our family. It’s the foundation for all other things. Period.

Reverence. By definition it means ‘regard or treat with deep respect.’ For them, it doesn’t have to be about woodworking but it is for me. This is similar to passion and I hope they are constructively consumed by it. Most importantly though, I want them to abhor apathy.

Craft. Knowing, appreciating, and embracing well-made items has lost a little favor in the mainstream; I believe it still exists on the fringes. I hope my girls will spot good design and good craftsmanship as they grow. Once they spot it, I hope they support it.

Okay, enough of the heavy stuff for a bit. I think the glue is dry and I need to finish up the fridge before my birthday deadline arrives. Plus I need to figure out what the heck to do with this butterfly inlay jig. I really can’t see myself hogging out all this material with an 1/8″ bit. Maybe hand tools are the answer again?


Partial practice piece of butterfly inlay

If you have any insights into making cool butterfly inlays (i.e. for Nakashima style slabs), please send them my way.


About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
This entry was posted in General Philosophy, Kids Furniture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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