I think the comedian, Ron White, said it best “I had the right to remain silent, I just did not have the ability.” I sometimes also find myself afflicted with this malady, especially when it comes to those I am closest to like my family and friends. What you say matters, sometimes more than you realize. And what you do not say can also have a very profound effect.
In the world of Woodturning, where we strive to inspire and encourage, I think it is particularly important not to discourage folks who may not be as far along as we are by making a careless hurtful remark. Recognizing what makes the shape pleasing and what makes it look clunky can be a very difficult skill to acquire for some folks. Just as those with artistic inclinations find drawing, sketching, and painting a very easy activity, many other folks find it very difficult and in some cases impossible.
As an example, I have searched for, studied, and practiced techniques for mastering the skew chisel. For me, the lightbulb has gone on, I get it, it makes sense to me, it is no longer a challenge and the skew chisel is now fun to use and no longer something to be feared. That is not the case with a whole lot of turners I meet all across this great country of ours. When that lightbulb went on, when the bell rang, as soon as I understood, it all seems so simple. But I know it is not that simple. Some people are good at math and others are good at music. Some folks are great cooks while others are near mechanical prodigies.
I am firmly planted in the camp which believes in encouraging others, building other people up, and doing everything I can to help them improve from where they are to where they want to be. This wonderful, blessed life we have been given is a journey. None of us have arrived at our final destination, so as we travel down this road together let us do what we can to make it a better place for those around us, for those close to us, and for those that God puts in our path. A purposeful and easy way to do this when looking at someone’s turning project is to point out what they got right and praise those things. That is not to say you cannot mention areas which could use improvement, you just do not have to make a big deal out of the negatives. I believe in being truthful, just not in being brutally honest when you don’t have to be. Because wherever you go there you are.
Here is my inspiration for this message:
Job 16:5 NIV - But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.
Chris Stott, Author “Turned Boxes – 50 Designs”
“Allan’s comment ‘I like your work – keep it up’ was all the encouragement I needed, and I thank him for taking the time to stop and look.” Chris was quoting Allan Batty, a world class extremely well known wood turner.
Reminder of this week's sale items
In case you didn't already know, I have posted tons of "Free Download" stuff on my web site.
Including Bottle Stopper Designs - 50 Plus classic designs. Free PDF
Remaining Summer Show Schedule 2015 -
Aug 2015, SWAT Symposium in Waco, TX (Confirmed)
Sept 2015, Turning Southern Style in Dalton, Ga. (Confirmed)
October 2015 Fall Woodworking Show Season Begins. Cities to be determined. Probably 5 shows before Thanksgiving.