I made a thing!
A two day course with TouchWood South West on Carpentry Skills for Women was brilliant fun and a great way to start a bit of holiday. I learnt a lot of new skills, including importantly how to plan and measure. Most of what I make can survive a lack of accuracy and a bit of bodging: raised beds from my neighbours’ old decking; boxes out of MDF for tools; repurposing broken bird boxes as bug hotels. But I have wanted to be able to use techniques and tools properly and make beautiful as well as useful items.
Making useful things has been a great help to me through Covid, and more helpful as a creative practice than art as a way of processing the world, life, the universe and everything. My art, as conceptual art, has often mostly involved my head. Even the knitting of Particulart was subordinate to the idea. Instead I have recently been wanting to express myself more fully through my body.
And so, I found during the course that I was utterly absorbed in the making. The world fell away as I carefully measured up, or sawed up to my lines, or chiselled out the top of the stretcher. It was immensely satisfying, and at the end having something tangible and I still think beautiful gave me a great sense of achievement.
The course described the thing as a footstool; it’s only 40cm wide x 20cm deep x 20cm high. I have purposed it as a find of altar, a low table for items that focus prayer. At the moment it is supporting a reproduction of the Retreat Association icon and a candle.
The workshop also inspired me to get round to working out how all the rods and bobs in the mitre saw box fit together.
…and to invest in a proper workbench and more tools.