“The man nowadays who is able to do a job at his own pace is one of the fortunate ones. Then to one he’ll either be a craftsman with a small workshop of his own or a man working at a hobby. A feeling of enjoyment so much more often accompanies work that is freed from outside control, when that control takes the shape of a nagging foreman or an impatient boss. The queer thing is that when these no longer have to be encountered, our own moods and temperaments want to take charge, as variable as the weather and just about as dependable. It is then that the craftsman has to assert himself and put the mood in its place, knowing very well that it will play high jinks with his work if he isn’t careful. Once he has really started, no matter how lazy or disinclined he may have felt, the odds are that the mood will recede, the work will catch hold of him and bring an enjoyment of its own.”
— Charles Hayward, The Woodworker magazine, 1947
This extract was published on the Lost Arts Press blog page. The text is a delightful window into another world. To most of us, England in 1947 is as incomprehensible as Xanadu or Timbuktu. The phrasing, the choice of words, the tempo of the text are quaint, but the underlying sentiment is absolutely accurate. For me, ‘shed time’ is another time zone entirely. Outside, hours and days fly past, but inside, if I let it, time is suspended, absorbed in the process of making.
For more of this extract, and more of Lost Arts Press, click here.