On another occasion, I talked with a young woodworker who
had been my college student a long time ago and who had become
a good friend. Sitting at the dinner table in my house, he
said that tradition is what people practice at any time, so
tradition will evolve. Therefore, since today's woodworkers
use plywood veneer, biscuits, and Gorilla Glue, that
will be our new tradition. I felt that although he had a point,
I could not agree with this thought. I felt that tradition
had more elements, but I just listened to him at the time.
That conversation, and the other, stayed in my head for quite
a while after that evening.
I know through my experience that most woodworkers have stashed
away some place in their woodshop a small quantity of special
wood. Meanwhile, they dream and wait for a chance to use it
and make a special project, filled with beauty and intricate
details, which he or she desires. Why is that? Why do people
climb mountains and risk their lives? Why do Olympians spend
almost all their youth to better a record by 1/100 of a second
or less? Why do people talk about or exchange stories of how
they broke through or handled some very difficult situation
One day I picked up all these thoughts and more, one by one,
and concluded that as long as human beings don't lose their
intellectual curiosity and passion to challenge themselves,
even if sometimes a challenge seems impossible, then beautiful
materials, proper techniques, and intricate, traditional wood
joinery will never totally be replaced by plywood, biscuits,
and Gorilla glue.
The top of the bridal cabinet, made from special wood
for a special person.