About two years ago I came across the name James Krenov in Fine Woodworking Magazine. It was a quotation from one of his books, describing his desire to create things that mattered, things of quality and value that could be passed down to future generations, and about the remnant of people that appreciate those sort of creations.
The words resonated with me and I ordered the book, titled "A Cabinet Maker's Notebook," in which Krenov describes his philosophy of woodworking -- an approach that has landed his simple, understated, but brilliant works in museums and art galleries around the world.
The words in that book must have done something to my soul. Because now, two years later, here I am, in Fort Bragg, California, enrolled in the fine woodworking and cabinetry program at the College of the Redwoods -- a program started by James Krenov himself, and since his passing, taught by instructors who studied under him.
This sleepy little coastal town, four hours north of San Francisco, surrounded by redwood forests, national parks, and occupied by loggers, fishermen, surfers and woodworkers, will be my home for the next year as I study the craft and try to emulate some of the values he espoused.
In this blog I'll describe the adventures, lessons, joys and frustrations along the journey. Can't wait to see where this goes!
Here's the quotation from Krenov that started it all:
"Fine things in wood are important, not only aesthetically,
as oddities or rarities, but because we are becoming aware of the fact that
much of our life is spent buying and discarding, and buying again, things that
are not good. Some of us long to have at least something, somewhere, which will
give us harmony and a sense of durability – I won’t say permanence, but
durability – things that, through the years, become more and more beautiful,
things we can leave to our children."