I'm at the section in my book today where I'm trying to start writing about the process of actually putting knife to wood. And I keep being interrupted.
Even after close to a hundred pages of information about wood selection, axing, tool choice, sharpening and so much more, I keep finding myself needing to explain another thing before we begin, and another thing. It is making me realize that so much of the expertise that makes carving fun (as well as safe) has nothing to do with the actual process of pushing a blade through wood.
Here are just the three that I found myself writing about this morning:
Use a plastic bag religiously to keep your blank from drying out.
Sheath your tools at every opportunity.
Don't worry about making your blanks accurate to the outline, but work hard to achieve the right delicacy.
I'm sure tomorrow I'll have even more that I feel the need to talk about before I describe how to do a hand squeeze cut. But that's the truth of the thing: it is 25% technique, 75% recognizing these other factors.
The good news is that these other factors are ideas that can be articulated and internalized, often much more easily than technique.
My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.