This Crafted World is a discussion between Harry T. Morris (furniture maker) and Shane Orion Wiechnik (furniture conservator) diving deep into craft, materials, and how understanding these things changes the way we work and see the world.
Shane and Harry discuss challenges to staying focused on tasks and the various things in our lives that pull us out of it, along with the difficulty of working a normal day. Harry recommends watching the movie Soul, but blatantly ignores one of it's major themes. Shane discusses why he doesn't like working in an office and finds being attached to one very distracting and unpleasant. They also discuss the importance of a good workspace.
Shane also wraps up work on his apothecary box, while Harry finishes up a couple small tables and begins preparing to move into a new workshop.
Shane and Harry are joined by Ben Strano from Fine Woodworking to talk about learning from masters. Ben is a passionate professional hobbyist woodworker who's job is often to distill the knowledge of professionals for hobbyists at home. Shane and Harry talk with Ben about professional pacing, the value of seeing in person what a professional result looks like, how being the biggest idiot in the room is a good thing, the challenges of professionals who don't know how or don't want to teach. Then Harry and Ben geek out about pencils.
We guarantee hands down that this is the single best woodworking interview with a woodworker where most questions are answered with sound engineering anecdotes. Seriously!
Harry talks about woodworking courses seem to either have students make a product or learn skills and asks about making skills based courses more engaging. Shane talks about separating out each skill and giving every technique its own space and focus, and they discuss whether having a project is more engaging or a distraction.
Harry is getting to the end of his drawered unit project and Shane is struggling to rework shellac surfaces.
Harry and Shane finally got a couple questions! Shane adds a few more notes to the conversation on Made To Last including agents of deterioration and whether things should last forever. Marc asks about self-employment vs normal employment and Robbie asks about using a linisher to flatten a plane blade.
Shane's been cutting wooden threads and teaching finishing, while harry keeps working on his drawered unit and helps homeless hedgehogs sleep safe.
Harry talks about what it means for something to be 'made to last' and questions which aspects of an object most impact its longevity. Shane complains about longcase clocks. Harry mentions his transition from showy joinery to something more likely to be repairable, and they both agree it is important to give something the best possible chance it can have.
Shane talks about prep he has done for an upcoming finishing course including making his own varnish, and Harry continues work on his drawered unit and hedgehog houses.
Shane puts forth the question to Harry, "How do you justify making new things in a world that already has so much stuff?"
They discuss the motivations behind our work, concerns for longevity and repairability, and touch on the importance of finding ikigai. Harry has also been designing hedgehog homes, and Shane has waxed a household of furniture.
Harry discusses his path to understanding sharpness. Shane and Harry debate how best to teach a departure from “that’ll do”. Harry makes a highly complicated concertina workshop handout. Shane starts milling timber for his apothecary box.
Shane pitches to Harry what the hell the point of this podcast is. We talk about the importance of having a deeper understanding of crafts and materials and how they make us better people.
Harry talks about a shoji screen inspired door he just finished, and Shane is getting started on an 19th century Apothecary box.