The ups and downs of creativity

Last night I stayed up past midnight, working on my new Krenov-style wooden smoothing plane. Bonny was working late again, and it was a great way to work off steam after taking the kids to another activity night at school. Bonny bought me a Ron Hock plane iron and chipbreaker for my birthday, and I couldn’t wait to get out into the shop and finish my project.

I can’t remember how many months ago I started this project, which I set aside until I could get my hands on the plane iron and chipbreaker. Life has been like that lately – I start a project, realize it’s bigger than I thought, or I need time or material or a tool or design input, and I shove the project aside to make room for something else. In my shop are tetering stacks of unfinished projects from the past year.

So finishing one of these projects – or at least making major progress – is cathartic. Suddenly the shop seems bigger, and I feel just a bit more capable. For example, to take the next step with my plane, I had to retune my jointer last night. It took half an hour instead of the several hours it took last time, and once I finished it worked better than ever.

My goal over the next six weeks is to reduce that tetering tower of projects to a more bearable height. Right now, though, I’m just looking forward to going out into my shop to make some shavings with my new plane.

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