Ahhh…it’s almost the weekend when we all look forward to catching up with family and friends, a bit more time in the shop and more time to prepare our food.
Many woodworkers pursue other creative fields such as writing, music, painting and sculpture. But, I think one of the best creative combinations for the woodworker is cooking. Whether you are making something out of wood or making a meal your senses are fired up.
Contrast running your fingers across the woodgrain to testing pears for ripeness. Your hands feel the differences in texture and weight between the metal and wood of your shop tools, as well as the knives and wooden spoons in your kitchen. Both wood and vegetables offer resistance to your tools and knives. You listen for the snick of your plane and the sizzle of a soffritto. With each shaving or chip the wood releases its scent; food aromas intensify as you add spices. You watch as each tool changes the shape of the wood; onions become translucent as you take care not to burn the garlic. While working you gauge your progress by sight and feel, and in the case of food, you get the special reward of taste.
There are going to be times when you can’t get into the shop or your project isn’t turning out as you want. That’s the time to get in the kitchen. As you slice, chop and saute new designs and solutions will be percolating on the back burner of your mind.
Here’s your bonus recipe ready for you to change to your own taste:
Due to excessive brain flatulence (I can’t find my corpus callosum), I forgot to make the “Virtuoso” documentary available for streaming. Yup. Only one month late.
I fixed that today. The video is $18 and is available here. International customers can purchase the streaming video. And the video can be watched on a wide variety of mobile devices. When you buy the documentary, you’ll receive a document that gives you instructions on how to stream it to any device from our Vimeo channel.
Also, we’ve sent out all the “With Hammer in Hand” posters that customers ordered this month. We kept a few back to replace any posters that were damaged in shipping. We have put those back-up posters in the store (they are mint and undamaged). Snatch them up now. They are $25 with free shipping.
This summer I bought a new book about Vincent Van Gogh and came across a couple of his sketches of carpenters. Like most artists, when Van Gogh wasn’t painting he was sketching and produced many studies of working people. His carpenters could be journeymen on an obligatory Dutch version of wandergesellen or they may be itinerant craftsmen.
I sent the sketches to Chris and his reply was, “I WANT TO KNOW HOW THAT SAW BACKBACK WORKS.” Thinking there was some static on the email line I figured he meant BACKPACK, checked the Van Gogh sketches again and started searching…and searching. I tried several variations of ‘saw backpacks’, ‘saw back racks’ then threw ‘hand’ in front of ‘saw’ and still found nothing.
Getting creative, and thinking about archery, my next try was ‘handsaw quiver’ and then the pain started. I had found the 34 pages of “Handsaw Quiver Varieties and Finite W-Algebras” by Hiraku Nakajima. I read Hiraku’s paper (because it was there), and thanks to having some semi-advanced mathematics under my belt, I only fainted twice. I understood all the in-between words (and, this, multiple, product, vector) and learned a new term, ‘shifted Yanigan’, which may become a new insult the next time someone cuts me off in traffic.
Taking a closer look at Van Gogh’s carpenters and their saws you can see the one on the right has some type of leather strap or belt slung over his shoulder and his saw is attached to the front. He steadies the saw with one hand. The carpenter to the left also has a leather strap over his shoulder. Is it the handle to the bag he carries to the front or the strap to which his saw is attached? If the saw were attached to a leather strap it should hang at an angle, not straight. Has he fashioned a better means of carrying his saw via some type of rack on his back?
Although I didn’t find any 19th century (or earlier) handsaw backpacks or back racks it doesn’t mean they weren’t made and used by individual craftsmen. Who better to design a better method of carrying tools? Maybe there were even some handsaw quivers of the non-W-algebraic kind.