Today I wanted to move to Germany. Buy some lederhosen. Raise some sheep.
Because of an unfortunate flood in eastern Bavaria, Dictum GmbH had to move my Roorkhee chair class to Munich. But the Munich workshop didn’t have enough lathes for the 10 students. So we had to move today’s class to Dictum’s shop in Singerhof, which is located two hours northeast of Munich.
And boy was it worth the drive. The Singerhof shop is located in an old farm (the students guess it dated from the 1700s). The farm was large enough that it had its own chapel. And all the buildings surrounded a common courtyard.
Dictum’s shop on the grounds is in a stone room with vaulted ceilings and stone columns. And for the first time during all my visits to Europe, I wanted to move here.
I told Petra Steinberger, the director of Dictum, that I wanted to purchase the farm.
She shook her head.
“After me,” she said.
It was a great day of turning – introducing many students to the lathe for the first time. Tomorrow we return to Munich to start making the leather for the seats.
If, of course, the rivets we ordered actually arrive.
It does not follow that because most wood-work used about a building may be obtained at the mill, machine made, that the carpenter should not equip himself with the knowledge necessary to make by hand every piece of wood-work required to complete a building. There is a sameness about millwork that always impresses itself unfavorably on the artistic sense, and this quality is so well understood in high quarters, that many very rich men will not permit finished machine made work to be introduced in their residence.
While it may be true that machine made work is, in many cases, superior to hand-made work, yet it is characterless and inartistic, as it is the machine, not the workman, that leaves its impression on the finished product, and each piece is a facsimile of each other piece. For utilitarian purposes machine made work occupies a high rank, as it is generally well made, solidly put together, and costs much less than hand-made work, qualities that recommend it for general use.
By hand-made work I do not mean work that is sawn from the rough by hand, or manipulated at every stage by brute force with saw and plane. The circular saw, the planer, the mortiser and tenoner may and should be employed in preparing material for hand work, thus relieving the workman of the present from the drudgery that his forefathers were forced to undergo. (more…)