My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Love made visible…

Kahlil Gibran tells us that work is love made visible.*

…And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.  For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger…

This brings us back to the workbench, functional tradition and the instinctive eye of the artisan.  I defy a true craftsman to make an ugly object.  Within his soul there is an inherent sense of beauty and love for a job well done.  Why else, asks Frank Kendon, (for no purpose but unexpressed affection) would a carpenter after running his plane along the edge of a plank, then run the soft pad of his hand down its length, approving its smooth warmth?

Frank Kendon also acknowledges that carpenters are not the only craftsmen, “It may be true of a motor mechanic that the last wipe down with a greasy rag is a half caress for a job done to an inward satisfaction.”

I have spent today making twelve steel straps to strengthen the studio French Windows.  If it were not for the genes of craftsmanship that I’ve inherited in abundance, I could have left the ends sawn square, as the strip of steel on the right.  However, there was no way that I could let the job rest at that.  I sketched out three alternatives and went for the version on the left.  I have put the extra hours down to a labour of love.

*The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

1 comment:

  1. Ah, all that stuff about working with love is OK if you are a prophet, not as easy if you are a process working on a production line.