Friday, October 22, 2010

Are you dissatisfied with your work?

Are you often dissatisfied with your work? Does the form please the eye from a distance? Does the surface finish hold up to close scrutiny? Is it nice to the touch? Do any natural features in the wood work well with this piece, in terms of scale and placement? Is there always something you didn't get quite right? If so, there is hope for you yet - Robert Genn says that "without displeasure there is no improvement and no progress."

Robert is a painter and blogger, and his post today, "Never satisfied", addresses the concerns of a painter who is never satisfied with his work. His comments could equally be applied to woodturning. He categorizes dissatisfaction in four ways, and provides four answers to each:

  • "Amateur epiphany" - being really satisfied with work is mainly the province of amateurs. 
  • "Journeyman jading" - it's time to think again and move on. 
  • "Workman remorse" - re-dedication, re-thinking and "back to basics" may be in order. 
  • "Professional humility" - high standards cannot always be met and perfection is an impossible dream.
Be sure to read his blog post to learn the full context then check out the rest of his blog and maybe even sign up for his twice-weekly newsletter.