Wood-working is a neglected hobby of mine. It’s been years since I’ve attempted to put anything together – and my last creation, my desk – is more a series of boards than a fully-realized vision.
Being a part-time perfectionist, I’m driven by an imagined necessity. Store-bought furniture never fits the space quite right, and the lust-worthy adornments of design magazines are far beyond my budget. So I measure and I sketch and I tell myself that eventually I’ll make it to the lumberyard.
Back in the ’70s, Steve Wozniak and his buddy Steve Jobs had no choice but to apply artisanal skills to the first batch of personal computers they were assembling in the Jobs’ family garage. They made about 200 of these things. I wonder how they felt about all the sawdust and the sanding and the staining. As my best thoughts often come from bike-riding and tending to the garden, my guess is that it was good for their creative minds to have the body-break.
Working on websites fires up most of the same brain-bits as planning out a new end-table, but there is a satisfaction of tangibility that I miss when working on screens. Pushing pixels is clean and clutter-free, but sometimes I’d like to stub my toe on what I’ve accomplished.
Maybe this summer I’ll have a chance for more splintered pleasures. (We’ve got a high-ceilinged wall that’s just begging for something like this.)