Today was a day of ups and downs, and I have to admit that I am still a bit down. I helped out at “The Woodworking Show” with the Baltimore Area Turners Club booth. That was a lot of fun. I saw a number of people from the Club and it was good to have a chance to speak with them and get to know them better, and it was also fun to meet and speak with so many new people. My job was to tell people about the Club and talk about the pieces in the Club’s Gallery. I had three pieces in the Gallery and I got a number of compliments about my pieces. Cool!
Before I tell you about the contest results, I want to tell you about a quote I heard from Tommy Mac on the “Finishes” episode of Rough Cut. I liked it so much, I that I played it over and over until I had it all written down. I have never heard anyone say this on any hobby/craft show. My respect for Tommy has gone up even higher now. Tommy and Scott Philips were at the show on Saturday and one of my friends from the Club showed me pictures he had taken with the both of them. I’ll admit that I was bummed that neither of them were at the show today. I heard Tommy was a big hit and the people really liked him. Regarding the quote I liked so much, Tommy was speaking about the trestle table he made. (Spoken in a heavy Boston Accent)
“Okay guys, you can see that there are a couple of plane marks here, there’s a couple of dings there, there’s a couple of parts where I over sanded it. But overall, that’s okay with me. Because you know why? This piece was hand made by me, and I am extremely proud of this piece of work, because like I said, I made it with my two hands. And I hope you feel the same way about your work as well. And you know, it doesn’t really matter how it comes out as long as you tried your best.”
It took guts to say that, and I really admire someone in his position who is willing be that honest. Tommy Mac, you have a new fan. That statement helped me feel so much better about my own work. Even with the tiny flaws, I know I tried my best. And as Stuart Smalley says, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”
Onto the contest. There were only about nine or ten entires. And I must say, they were all very good. Each entry was very different and I think that every entry could have been the winner. That being said, I did not win or place, but I received a large number of compliments about the piece and I am extremely proud of it. Kudos to all the folks who put there personal work out on the line to be viewed by their peers. Honestly, I am not bothered at all about not winning. I know it must have been a very difficult decision for the judges. On the plus side, each contestant got a nice bag of goodies for entering the contest and three free show passes.
Onto the bummer part. After my shift was over at the booth, I went to see the display of all the Showoff pieces. I noticed that they put my prize bag over the “Yud” and that did not make me happy, then I noticed that someone had obviously removed the “Yud” and dropped it and broke off the lower bottom back corner. The show staff assured me on Friday, that once the Chai-boy was in place, that no one would move it. We looked all over the place and could not find the broken off piece. The Show Manager swore to me that the piece was un-damaged when they photographed it during the judging. They think some tried to steal the prize bag and knocked the “Yud” off. Right now, I just don’t know what I am going to do with it. I need time to cool down and think. I admit, I have a VERY hot temper so I was surprised how calm I remained. I surprise myself sometimes.
As I was ready to take the Chai-boy home one of the Show staff approached me and apologized once more and said, “Listen, I know I can’t make up for the damage done, but can I at least get you something from the show? A new drill, a mini-lathe or was there something you had your eye on?” Normally I would have jumped on this like white on rice. However; I was so depressed, that I just said, “no.” Then it hit me, Veritas had a high end Combination-Square that I really wanted. So the show manager went over the Veritas booth and got me both sizes of Combination-Squares. One was $69 and the other was $76. I bet I could have gotten something more expensive, but frankly, I did not have the heart to push it, and upon further reflection, I was just not in the proper state of mind. The staff did not have to do anything, and I am very grateful that they made the gesture. That being said, I still need time to reflect upon what happened and think about my options.
I really must have been down, because I only bought one thing at the Show, not much was of much interest to me. I did buy a router plane I needed for the Hand-Tool School which will be shipped to me. Perhaps my NTAS has gone into remission.
Enough said for tonight. Time to get back to woodworking blogs.