Tuesday, June 7, 2016

what is it about lines?

Some obscure thing in my childhood must be responsible for my appetite for nice lines. I've never been a builder of any merit, but I have had so much joy over the years drawing lines to create a space, and then getting outside to make them real lines drawn against sky. If I'm honest, these things interest me much more than fitting out or even using a building. What I love is the transformation of space by considered lines and I feel rather blessed that the old body can still enjoy  days in the sun 'on the tools'.

There are a few persistent themes in this blog, and line is one of them. I vividly remember a walk with my father when I was less than four years old, through a street in our Victorian country town of Horsham where we lived,  less than ten years after the Second War. On this walk I saw my first house frame being built and the sense of transformative wonder has never left me. I raced home and stole all Dad's garden stakes and tried to create something equivalent in the garden. I had a parallel experience the same year at our local swimming hole at Green Lake, where I saw my first boat- with the same attempt at re-creation when I got home. Every chance since then, I've been up to the same mischief, but never as a professional. It was violins that allowed me to be paid for making nice lines, and I'm missing them a bit lately.

I have a grandson reaching the age that I was when these things shook me. I bet a few readers might have grandchildren too. I hope some of them are as aroused by the possibilities of making things as some of us were. Taking an idea from paper to the vastness of the outdoors, and being encouraged to do so can set  the mind up to be forever looking to see the 'what if' in life instead of the 'I can't'.


  1. I agree, Robert - having built several houses (and boats), my favorite moment is when the skeleton appears as a whole. You get the feeling of the finished creation without the claustrophobia of an enclosure. The space diminishes as the shape is skinned over.

  2. Just so. I worry that buildings and regulations are becoming so complex that the 'owner builder' may become a quaint memory.
    Your recent trip looked delicious, by the way.