Think about how you look at others’ work. You don’t look for every mistake. You look at the scope of the project, the effort required. You consider the time spent on design. You see the form, the choice of wood and think about the time taken to mill the lumber. The hours spent on joining pieces together and the detail in the joinery and the weeks spent on shaping and sanding and how the hardware is hung. You step back and look at the whole piece and you know in your heart how much it took. You congratulate the builder.

Well, do the same to your own self. Congratulate yourself on work well done. Yes do better next time. Always strive to do better, but give yourself a break every now and then. We all make mistakes.

Step back from your own projects. Give them some room to breathe. Enjoy their imperfections. Do good work and strive to do better work each time. But don’t slow yourself up with perfection.
two leaf box

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3 Responses to Congratulations

  1. ken hatch says:

    So true. I enjoy the “mistakes”, it makes the work real, where I can see the hand of the maker. Perfection is boring, cold and sterile. Then again while I can admire, appreciate and be moved by the masters, the work I want in my home is usually Outsider or Folk Art. The same applies to furniture.



  2. John Ford says:

    It’s true. I tried to teach my sons that the only people who don’t make mistakes are the ones who don’t do anything. We just have to not beat ourselves up for making them.


  3. onecarwood says:

    I am very good at seeing just the mistakes in most everything that I build. Great post and with your permission I would like to repost this to my blog and maybe expound on it. Thanks!


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