Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Japanese probably have a word for it

I took my youngest to have his hair cut the other day. The hairdresser chatted to my son for a minute or so and then started. He combed and snipped, combed and snipped, moving round from one side to the other and back. Every now and then he would pause, step back thoughtfully and then return to work.

It proceeded this way both of them relaxed and chatting for perhaps 15 minutes or so and then suddenly it was done - a boy had emerged from the haystack.

I love to watch professionals at work. From the hairdresser to the signwriter to the mechanic and seamstress there is an ease, a relaxed economy of motion in the way they move. It is something that can only come from having done something hundreds if not thousands of times and that confidence comes through in the way they stand, the way they move.

And when they have left  I can still feel an echo of their presence in the creation before me.

I find it difficult to put into words but there is something "just right" about what has been made that makes you think "I could do that".

But you couldn't - that magic would be missing.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


An old piece of furniture is a joyous thing.

Especially the ordinary items, those made in small factories or by people like you and me. Passed over and headed for landfill because they have no monetary value, their worth lies in their past and their purpose and even the echoes of long gone design trends re-interpreted by the maker.

Being a visual person the shape of things intrigue me.  Even when an item seems just "not right" somehow it is just a reminder that a real person made this.

I suppose modern furniture has been made by somebody but when I wander around a big store it just seems so impersonal and soulless. The whole experience just seems more about the store's profit than the item itself.

Or perhaps I am just getting old . . .