You, the Woodworker

You, the Woodworker

I recently acquired two beautiful wood handmade pieces from artisans I’m friends with. One is a wooden handmade cheese knife, the other is a finely crafted pizza board with layers of gorgeous woods.

They’re valuable to me partially because of their beautiful utility, and partially because I know the people, the hands, and the care that went into making them.  

Consider the woodworker. 

He or she starts with a lucid idea of what they intend to create. They take some raw material from the natural world and inquire about what it can be. They choose their materials carefully. They begin to reshape it. They carve away all the things that don’t matter. They use simple but trusted tools that they have mastered. They shape, carve, bend, bond, and transform something that was raw into something new. They apply their presence and mastery to make or remake something that has a greater utility.

This is all done with care, mastery, patience, in some service and utility for others—all while honoring the natural material at hand. The reality is, what I (and likely you) do is not dissimilar from the woodworker.  

We’re working with solid and good raw material of an organization, helping to imagine or re-imagine what it could be and shape it to its potential. 

We hew away all the things that don’t matter, reshaping the entity for greater purpose and utility. We’re synergizing the elements we’re surrounded by. We ask for information from those around us about what they can do to contribute to the cause.

In the end making something both highly function, valuable, and lasting. And, maybe beautiful, too.

Being a maker, a crafts-person, an artist or an entrepreneur is a natural and innate human activity. We’re born to make and create. It’s among the most valuable things we can do with our finite time on this planet.

We are made to make things that endure, that influence people, that make people’s lives better. The work isn’t about pretty, or precious.  It’s about making change.  The kind of change that builds on itself through the process of renewal, regeneration and collaboration with others and natural materials. It all starts with good raw material and clear intent.

My goal isn’t to make change for the sake of change, it’s to make the kind of change that improves the world of the people I work with. I suspect that’s true for you, too.

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