Carving As a Hobby

Carving As a Hobby

I grew up in a rather provincial town. My father was a carpenter at a time when the skilled hands of carpenters were being replaced by cold steel machines that grumbled and whined and put this great country in the greatest financial position in the world.

I remember my father well although he passed away when I was still a boy. I have clear memories of him bending over a low wooden table out in the back yard, his hands working delicately but with a strong grip with a carving knife, making a chess piece or a bed knob to sell the next day.

Our poverty was a cold one with no hope in sight. A small town can only give so much work to an old carpenter. It was also a town where people did whatever they could to help themselves, and therefore save money. Almost everyone was a carpenter to a degree and would only call a professional in an extreme situation or if they were wealthy, which only a few families were.

What makes me write this today is a story that I fell and perhaps because of a rising tide nostalgia that grows with age, a sense of loss that has a firm grip around my heart, and a potent sense of loss in my mind. I farther feel these somber feelings when I see my grandchildren. I love them dearly of course by the play on the computer and video games and sports which is all very find and good, but as for a hobby, well, that is another story.

No one has hobbies anymore. This is a very sad thing. I took up a carving when I was just a boy, and although I made my living as an electrician, I never stopped making things with my hands. There is something subtle perhaps but altogether unifying with nature that I experience when I let my now old and callus hands grip my chisel or carving knife. Something so rewarding but alas to refined for youngsters of today.

I have sold many things that I have made not just for the small profit they bring but for the sheer pleasure of watching someone benefit from my work. I have made more chess sets then I can count like my father used to do. I have made children’s toy horses and yoyos and countless others, recently I sold two dress forms for a rather high price to a great nephew of my wife’s who opened a small clothing store.

But the truth is, it is not about my hobby that I am writing and not about the negligible profits that they have earned, but about the fading of hobbies. This I see as a serious loss for the generation, and I hope that the long term effects of not feeling in touch with nature are not too bad for my grandkids.

 

Bill demonstrating his new hobby, machining China metal and making steam engines.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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