Its Not That I Don’t Care…

Whenever I start a project, I usually have a clear vision on what it will look like in the end.  I spend a lot of time going over the process in my mind, the techniques I’d use, and the tools that I’ll need to have in place before attempting this project.  I have more time to think about a project than I have to actually build the project.  As such, I have built up the project so much in my mind, but it rarely comes out the way I expect.

I was playing with the lathe over the weekend.  I just wanted to knock out a couple of quick projects for my own amusement.  The image I had in my mind for what I wanted to turn was very clear.  Unfortunately, my lathe skills are not as good as the mad skills I have built up in my mind.  The gouge catches, leaving huge gashes in my work.  I growl and say bad words which spirals me into a foul mood.  My masterpiece is ruined.

This weekend I did something a bit different.  I stepped back and analyzed what I was doing.  Not my tool-handling technique, nor my ability.  But rather my reaction.  This is stupid.  I come out to the garage to create and relax.  This doesn’t sound too relaxing to me.  Then I asked myself, does it really matter?

I’m not selling them.  They’re not for a client.  They’re for me.  Its far from perfect.  In fact, this goblet has a huge ding in it. Do I care?  If I really think about it, I guess I really don’t.  It’s silly for a newbie to expect perfect results.

Even if it was perfect, knowing me I’d drop it on the concrete on accident while showing somebody and putting a ding in it anyway.  But I did learn a lot for seeing the project through to the end.  And after all that, I still have a nice piece to put on my mantel.

I’d even bet that the pros out there rarely have a project go according to plan.  I think the idea is not to necessarily “not care,” but rather accept it for what it is and adapt accordingly.  You’ll say a few less bad words, reduce your blood pressure much more, and have a much better time.

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