Friday, December 18, 2015

wooden knight and creative drive

I have something quite different for you today. I haven't been drawing a lot (I really need to get back on that horse). I've been spending some of my recently begun Christmas break in a woodshop, though. I was quite thrilled to find out that the Architechtural programmes in Aalto university have a woodshop, with all kinds of fun tools. (Even though I once aspired to be an architect, I am not one of the students there. It seems the woodshop is for all students to use, even though its name on campus grounds suggests otherwise.)

I was most excited to hear that they have a lathe. I've always been very fascinated by the lathe, but never really had the chance to try it out for myself. But now I do! And I have! It puts me in an incredibly good mood. The lathe is mesmerising like the fire. It pulls me in, and then it puts a smile on my face.

I don't often get the chance to really work with my hands. I study engineering, but the first year or so is solely focused on theory. Maths and physics, mostly. Labor by hand isn't part of my schedule, and that's a bit of a shame. I guess drawing kind of counts, but it's not quite what I need. I had a bike puncture the other day, on my way to the woodshop after lunch. But I didn't mind at all. I headed inside and turned this chess piece, and when I was done I walked the bike home and happily set about fixing the tyre. It may seem like a chore, but it's such a relaxing thing to just shut off your brain and let your hands do all the work. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.

Almost every time I go to my parents, I go to out and check up on all the bikes in the garage. Well, mostly my brothers bike, because it's always broken in some way when I come home. And I do this because it's satisfying. I like it, I like fixing things. I enjoy building things. And I like to create things. I would almost say I'm driven to.

I guess that's why I write this blog. Partly, no doubt. This isn't some new thing, either. Drawing has always been my main medium of creation, but those who know me well might know I've had some woodworking projects in the past. And when I was 12 or 13 I was really excited about learning and creating computer models and animations in 3D software, which lasted for a year or two. Admittedly, everything I made back then was quite unfocused and just bad mostly, but it was all still the same kind of release for that drive.

This is by no means great work, but I think it's entirely adequate for a first-time lathe project. I find the lathe is just such a wonderful tool for shutting down and simply creating. The top part was done mostly on the bandsaw and a sander, with a bit of filing and sanding by hand. I figured I'd yet give this piece a couple coats of polyurethane finish, and that's why it still has a nub in the bottom with a piece of string attached. It just makes the finishing a lot easier.

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