"Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective…
In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires - including a deeply ingrained need to function in such as a way that his life will be MEANINGFUL. A man has to BE something; he has to matter.
As I see it then, the formula runs something like this: a man must choose a path which will let his ABILITIES function at maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his DESIRES…
In short, he has not dedicated his life to reaching a pre-defined goal, but he has rather chosen a way of life he KNOWS he will enjoy. The goal is absolutely secondary: it is the functioning toward the goal which is important.”
From a letter from Hunter S. Thompson to Hume Logan; April 22nd 1958.
This is a lovely video of Giovanni Corvaja explaining how he works and reflecting on gold as a material. I love his comment about the density of gold and how, when you are holding an object in gold you are ‘holding a lot of matter in a very small space’.
Usually at least once in a person’s childhood we lose an object that at the time is invaluable and irreplaceable to us, although it is worthless to others. Many people remember that lost article for the rest of their lives. Whether it was a lucky pocketknife, a transparent plastic bracelet given to you by your father, a toy you had longed for and never expected to receive, but there it was under the tree on Christmas… it makes no difference what it was. If we describe it to others and explain why it was so important, even those who love us smile indulgently because to them it sounds like a trivial thing to lose. Kid stuff. But it is not. Those who forget about this object have lost a valuable, perhaps even crucial memory. Becuase something central to our younger self resided in that thing. When we lost it, for whatever reason, a part of us shifted permanently.
There seems to be a glut of lovely little short films about craft and making at the moment. Norweigan Wood featuring Philipp von Hase is another one. It features a pleasingly literal interpretation of ‘journeyman’. Traditionally a journeyman was someone who had completed their apprenticeship but had not yet become a master in their craft. Von Hase literally went on a ‘craft journey’ in order to learn new skills and techniques and found himself in Bergen, Norway. A craft journey is most definitely one for the ‘to do’ list.