Marquetry and Fear

Tonight I packed for a weekend workshop.  I’ll be traveling a few hours north to take a class in marquetry on wood turnings.  The question is how is this going to turn out?  Part of me is very excited to be going and the other part is full of fear.  I am really just a beginner to the world of marquetry and have never used a lathe in my life.  Most of my wood working has been cabinetry or simple carpentry.  I’ve got some skills but the people I am taking the class with are – well, they really know what they’re doing and have produced some really fine work.

Me.  I’ve got one piece done and have bought all the right tools.

But I don’t have the skill or artistic eye that some of my fellow marquetarains have.  I suppose that statement is just self doubt.  At the last meeting a couple of the guys said that they can’t draw but still have produced stuff I am envious of.

What really has me worried is the wood turning thing.  When the class was announced they said that you didn’t need to have experience with turning.  They did add an extra session for an basic turning class so guys like me could get a little lesson and a head start on the project.  For awhile I was afraid that I’d be the only one that needed to learn how to use the lathe.  I was happy to learn that one other person is joining me in turning 101 but a bit intimidated to learn that some of my classmates have been turning wood for decades.

I could delve into my own inner psychology and emotional failings but let’s just leave it as, “afraid of failure.”  And personal injury – on the surface poking sharp tools at a big spinning machine doesn’t seem like the safest thing to be doing.  But how different is it from running wood through a spinning saw blade or climbing a ladder or that white water rafting I used to do.

Also I am basically an introvert and do most of my wood working alone where no one can see what I am doing (and I can throw out my mistakes before anyone sees them).  This weekend I’ll be working in a shop run by an expert and surrounded by people who really know their stuff.  I’ll be doing my cuts and making my mistakes in the same shop with them.
Which is part of the point of this weekend’s exercise – to get outside myself, push my limits and try doing something new.

I’ll be pushing a number of limits in the next three days.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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