Saturday, March 23, 2013

lost for words

This blog has been quiet for some time, and I thought it was time to try to find some words.

Words simply fell off the keyboard for me for a few years, maybe because I had an unreasonable belief in the value of the things I was into. But I soon ran out of words and my interior world became more and more fixed to the brain cells that produced it.

January in the countryside here was hot and dry, but something in the weather and the location of our house conspired to fix in my mind the idea of winding up my violin making business, and seeing what it would be like to retire.

My little business in Geelong has given me about twenty wonderful years being paid to muck about with hand tools, and I have enjoyed a satisfying relationship with many fine clients. One particular joy has been in trying to develop a sensitivity to the chemistry that can link a young person to an instrument in such a way as to transform their playing and their motivation. Asking the right questions and sensing what type of instrument will appeal- for all the human and irrational reasons that make music such a rich and beautiful thing- and seeing the magic that happens when a young person falls in love with a hollow bit of wood is a very different experience from selling a mere consumerist object.

One of the things I will miss (and which I have probably become unconsciously dependent upon) is the regular affirmation that clients give me about my little old workshop and my collection of hand tools. It does feel good...

The picture above is of a new annexe that I am building for my tools to live in, and we will see if I can make a new life for them here where there are no clients.


  1. Robert
    It is good to hear from you again
    We have missed you
    Arwens meanderings

  2. Good to hear from you my friend,
    Sometimes the well is deep, other times not so. But the inspiration is always where you last left it. Perhaps with a more intimate shop, you will not lose your tools so readily.

  3. Cheers Steve and MB.
    I still enjoy reading your exploits!

  4. I've been thinking of you and your blog recently. It is good to hear from you again! You have a wonderful way with words. I hope retirement doesn't mean less making of things, but instead more fun in and out of the shop. I just finished a 5-string violin for myself and it is so fun to play! I'm hoping to make more of them and try some things out, to "play" in the making sense. All the best in this next bend in the trail.

  5. thanks Scott, nice to hear from you.
    I'm hoping to keep busy making things, but I just don't want to run a business any more. Maybe I'll find the place where my words are hiding...