remembering what you know

Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to remember what we already know. The cover-ups and put-offs, and then the doubt, the fear of shame, all that and more, gets in the way of what we already know. Ego and expectation... but if I can push this all aside for a day, and be open to not knowing, I remember a way of being, moving, feeling my way through, like I already know.

It's not like I don't make mistakes, many, that I do know. And in embracing myself as a beginner, then I can feel it start to grow...

So I was busy in the shop last week with finals over and the people on summer vacation and I finally found time to do a few things I'd been pining over the last few months. I learned to turn bowls! It's so much about the whole body, shifting weight from one foot to the other while holding fast to the tooling and trying to feel how the wood wants to be carved.

Three pieces, 2014. Redwood, poplar, walnut, beeswax. 

Three pieces, 2014. Redwood, poplar, walnut, beeswax. 

I built a steam-box and steamed some red oak. It's a process. It takes time and whatever you hear, the wood is still a bitch to bend. The key is a good strong fixed jig. Once I was convinced the steam box would not explode I turned on the steam generator and watched and waited for the parts to come up to temperature. But having no thermometer I believe I pulled the first batch out a bit early and it failed. At the crest of the curve, the wood split under pressure. And I had to start all over again. But after my second attempt, I finally completed the ring for my first big basket. Tomorrow I'll drill and fill holes and set the ribs, then it's time to weave.

Jig and loop for basket #1, 2014. Red oak, pine, plywood.

Jig and loop for basket #1, 2014. Red oak, pine, plywood.

Tomorrow... I promise to jump in the ocean. I want some Salty water on skin.