My son, Isaac, told me I would really enjoy turning wood on a lathe. I told him no; I didn’t need another hobby. It turns out he knows his ol’ Pap better than his Pap knows himself.
After several months of turning him down, he arrived one day with a lathe and a set of tools.
“Let me teach you how to turn a pen,” he said. “You’ll really enjoy it.”
He set the lathe up, taught me to turn a pen and now I’m hooked. I have done woodworking for nearly forty years and can honestly say I don’t enjoy any aspect of it as much as turning wood on a lathe.
Here are five lessons I’ve learned with my new hobby:
- I see things differently. Recently, I cut down a honey-locust tree because of storm damage and rot. Normally, I would have cut it up into firewood. This time, though, I cut it up into various sections to turn on my lathe.
- Learning new skills stimulates my intellect. I learn more by reading a book than taking a class. I read copious amounts about technique, history, wood types and artisans who create fantastic beauty from wood. Reading is always a good thing.
- My creativity spills into other spheres of my life. I believe everyone is a creative person even if they deny it. Creativity is essential to finding fulfillment in life. The moment we stop creating is the moment we stop living.
- I’ve made new friends. I joined the South Kansas Woodturners Club and am making new friends. Sharing a common interest is a great way to make friends.
- I’ve found a new way to bring happiness to others. A hand-made gift is one of the best ways to make another person happy.
Just to give you a sense of what I’m talking about, here’s a short photo-journey to turning a damaged tree into objects of beauty.
I’ve made a few pens out of this tree and, over the course of time, I’ll make bowls and a variety of other pieces of happiness.
I’m glad my son talked me into a new realm of discovery.
You just never know what you might enjoy unless you try it!