It’s definitely Spring in Texas (5/7/15) A refreshing new start to all life. Nature is in a full scale new life orgy! I live on, actually next to, a small neighborhood lake so I am privileged to observe a lot of animal instincts. Many fauna appear, like land birds, ducks, geese, swans, egrets, herons (white and blue) turtles, rabbits, fish and frogs (I see by the lake edge) and the list could go on. It is kind of a fauna reproduction event. New offspring everywhere. The flora is in full mating too. The tree pollen so profuse it can be swept away with a broom. The biota around here is celebrating escaping the grip of a serious many year drought.
I have escaped the limitations of rigid time structure. I was a slave to schedules that didn’t flow with the rhythm of natural life, when to sleep, when to eat, when to work and when to play. How about when to #1 and #2… nature has her own rules about that! Ha! Just saying, but you get my point.
So in retirement I go with the flow so to speak, not necessarily in regards to my last numbered events or reproduction cycles.
I like the revival of working with hobby activity I previously could only do in my “spare” time. It’s become more of a natural part of how I enjoy spending most of my time. I don’t have to track it by the hour but I do note the passage of time.
There is a term that has become obscure in this modern world. It is called patronage. It has a mixed meaning but in one sense it permitted artist and creative people to perform their activities without concern of day to day survival. That’s kind of what retirement provides for me. I don’t have to worry about how much I make an hour. I pay myself now, so cheaper the better. Ha!
Some masters ran production "sweat shops" to survive without a patron. Apprentices provided the automation of the mundane chores.
I am relying on time saving modern tools such as computers and CNC machines, but I feel certain that even the old masters used state of the art tools of their day. They invented their own, as necessary. Nothing wrong with that. Technique and tools are only import in how they affect the final product.
I like hand work as much as automation. It depends on the results I want. I feel there is more “spirit” in handmade items, but I have no desire to do handmade to the precision I can obtain through accurate machining. There is art in precision work too.
So I will work both sides as the mood suits me.
I just finished a personal review of the digital drawing and design software tools I currently use. I concluded with a high level of certainty that I have and use all that I need to work at my level of perfection and satisfaction. I have CAD where I need it to be. I did not list the product as the tool is only important to the user.
I believe handmade items should look good without losing the sense they are handmade. Handmade furniture is evident by its lack of machine perfection, say in hand cut dovetails. Handmade does not mean crude workmanship, rather the opposite. There are other classes for crude called primitive and perhaps folk art.
There is an emotional division between fully handmade with human muscle power only and that made with power machine assist. It’s almost a cultural divide for some folks.
I don’t want to play within just one of those “hand made” defined boxes. If Jesus had a powered table saw, I think He would have used it. I don’t want to worry about "sacred boundaries" of method. There is no 11th commandment, “Thou shall not use machines.” I will use the defining terms properly, as I don’t hide from tradition. But it is just that… tradition.
Sometimes it IS fun to follow traditional methods and revive old ways, but I won’t let it be a limitation to what and how I choose to do my thing… in whatever time comes naturally.