My Devil’s Tower

by | May 16, 2019

That scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Richard Dreyfus’s character is obsessed with what he saw what he thinks he saw what he imagined – it doesn’t matter. He goes deep into his dinner and begins to construct a mound on the plate that resembles the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.

We all have our Mashed Potato Mountain. Or should. Mine. There are parts of the whole that take me away. If a frame is the product of three days labor, a good several hours are spent on smaller details that grab me and bring the process to a halt. Maybe five times between start and completion. Areas of detail. My Devil’s Tower.

The seat lug confluence is among my focal points. The parts are joined. The flux is rinsed. I begin to carve the shapes onto the left and right stay tops. Often the two sides don’t match. But they don’t match close enough that I care. Or don’t. The area looks at me and I look back at it tenfold. And then move forward. Time. Is. Money.

I spend a LOT time holding metal and tools. In many ways it’s like me touching myself. When there’s an itch within reach, I scratch it. Then people pay me for this. If there’s a lesson for other makers and people in the personal service industries it’s this: If you’re not fascinated with your own work, be surprised if anyone else is.

All This By Hand