When I was little, my grandfather made me this wooden space shuttle. I've had it as long as I can remember. I recall playing with this simple wooden toy, and imagining how it was made -- I always thought, primarily on the wood turning lathe.
As I grew older and pursued my own life and interests, other wooden objects came into my life. While on a trip to Japan with my wife Farrah, in a small town in the mountains north of Nagano called Yudanaka we noticed an old home with a display of beautiful wooden cups and bowls in the window. We poked around but didn't see anyone, and as we were running to catch a train, I took a quick snapshot because I knew some day we would return...
On a later trip with my friend Steve, we imposed a bit more firmly and an old lady (and by old, I mean ancient..) emerged asking us if we'd like some tea "OCHA NOMITAI DESS-KA" ... "KUDASAI!!!" we said, and she asked us in out of the cold and made and brought us some tea. Here's a picture of me in the shop.
After bringing a few things home, finally -- I began to marvel at the beauty and simplicity of these wooden objects. Like the space shuttle I imagined wow were they made? And more profoundly, how I was so lucky to be in possession of these beautiful objects?
I was determined to find out, and to see if my luck would allow me make a few things myself.
Luck being one of my greatest attributes, I was sure that through trial and error, I could make something. The bowls quickly became my favorites.
And that's where you find me, in November of 2020. I've made a few things for family and close friends. They have been kind to encourage me. I've made some things I wouldn't part with for any sum of money, and I've made some things that I know will be used at a potluck, a gathering of friends. Or to hold candy at a Halloween party. How can one put a price on these things?
If I can contribute an object of beauty to your life, to pass along the good fortune and beauty which I've been a recipient -- this is a very lucky thing indeed.
So I will continue. My objects, these bowls of wood, are not perfect. They are products of nature. And products of my own clumsiness. I do not consider myself a craftsman equal to my grandfather, the maker in the Japanese Alps, nor those who have generously shared their advice and wisdom contributing to my own pursuit of these skills.
But a bowl is a simple thing, and if it holds something you cherish, or something that nourishes you, it can be considered a success. If you look at it and smile or laugh, or if joy is sparked, then it can be considered a real treasure.
Thank you for your interest and patronage. It is a gift and proves my luck to be safe, at home, and in the presence of beauty. May you have the same good fortune...