Most people have been fooled into believing that simply having stuff is the same as valuing it. That getting a new thing will be as satisfying as keeping one that is good in and of itself. Things don't cut it. We live to be connected to stories. We need to feel connected to our needs, not just indulged in them. This isn't necessarily a spiritual need, in my opinion it is a genetic truth that is ignored by those who wish simply to treat us as markets.
So to have someone ask you to make a beautiful thing, capable of nurturing more than just their physical needs is the most important of missions to undertake, and I do so gratefully.
The other side of this is what happened when I researched my mission, and got in touch with a person who seemed to have complimentary values to mine. A bit like the first email I shared with 'Doryman', my contact with Rick at Sligo harps made me feel connected with a generous spirit whose enthusiasm was shared in up-sized lashings, and that mutual respect was the only currency required in the transactions that followed. This is worth bottling. It runs completely counter to current 'best-practice' in business. Rick has put so much technical experience out there for free, and he gave me even more simply on the strength of his enjoyment of this blog. How much money would we need to earn to gain the sort of satisfaction that comes from that? I wouldn't bother even trying.
Anyway, I haven't been very good at expressing these quite subtle things lately, and I thought I should see if I could squeeze out a few of the sentiments that used to come a bit more fluently than they have for the last few months.
The pics relate to my fabricating a Western Red Cedar soundboard- that has cross grain structure, and is 1/8 of an inch thick at the treble end and 1/4 of an inch at the bass end, and if you thought the sound-box back was vulnerable you should pick this little treasure up and see it wobble helplessly about.
The other pic shows my roughing out of a rebate to take four laminations of bent hardwood that will reinforce the most vulnerable part of the neck- it is most likely to break along the shortest grain, so the laminations will give plenty of long-grain strength where it is most needed. These harp strings do generate big stresses.