Making the most out of what I have now - The next tool, more wood, or a bigger machine won't necessarily make me
a better turner. As a musician I saw people with bare bones equipment and instruments make incredible sounding albums, and I have heard others with the best equipment and humongous budgets make
horrible records. The same can be said for woodturning. So what's my point? There is this thing called grit. Ambition, patience, determination, and pushing through failures to make a success are
hallmarks of champions. I watch my teenagers try things with the expectation they will do it perfectly the first time and feel a complete failure if they don't. Then they are unwilling to invest even
the tiniest bit more energy to correct or improve because it's too hard or too much work. I get it. Many times my expectations are not met and it feels overwhelming to try to become a master of what
I am doing. I'm certain I have brought this up in the past but it seems a recurring theme of my human condition. I get in my own way! I build the mountains in front of me that I must climb, and I
create them from molehills. Somehow when we become "adults" we don't allow ourselves to be beginners and make mistakes, or even worse to adventure and have fun while we learn.
A young golfer with Downs Syndrome, Amy Bockerstette is an absolute champion at the game. She is unfettered when playing in front of an audience and someone said she knows no bounds and no different.
When Amy was asked what the best part of golf is, her reply, "everything!".
Give yourself permission to be a beginner no matter how experienced you might be. Make mistakes, use what you have to the best of your ability, and find joy in the process. I believe you will find that the best part of being a woodturner is EVERYTHING!
Turn safe and have fun!
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE AAW
(Excerpt) AAW policy initiative on fractal burning (also known as "Lichtenberg Burning"), which advocates safety and helps to protect lives.
The AAW has always been a faithful advocate for woodturning safety. Recently, the subject of fractal burning has been in the news because of another tragic death. The AAW Safety Committee has studied the issue and concluded there may be a distinct influencing benefit in adopting a policy against the use of Fractal Burning and publicizing it immediately to chapters and members. As a result, it was recommended that the AAW Board adopt a new policy against the practice, which was unanimously approved on May 17, 2017. The new policy is as follows:
It is the policy of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) that the process known as Fractal Burning is prohibited from being used in any AAW-sponsored events, including regional and national symposia, and that AAW-chartered chapters are strongly urged to refrain from demonstrating or featuring the process in chapter events. Further, the process of Fractal Burning shall not be featured in any written or online AAW publication, except for within articles that warn against its use. AAW publications will not accept advertisements for any products or supplies directly related to the process.
Additionally, the Safety Committee recommended that an article be published in the August 2017 issue of American Woodturner to highlight the dangers of the practice and publicize the new AAW policy.
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