There’s less than a moment between finishing a near perfect on every count 57cm road frame for an as yet unknown client, then spending a few seconds admiring my work, transcribing the dims into the RS Lifetime Hall of Records Book No.18, and then doing what I’ve done since Day One when an assembly is finished: I completely clean and organize my work surfaces, use the whisk broom to drive all the metal filings and tube offcuts to the floor, sweep up, and get ready to start over.
For a maker, starting over is that chance you’re gifted, that chance to improve, to get it right – and the “it” is different for all of us. And for each of us it’s different every time. But that moment is real. You finished one. Pause. Reflect, if that’s your thing. And walk back up to the bench and get ready for more. After 45 years of this, it’s still the best part of the job. Redemption. Hope. Redemption and hope commingled. I love it. It’s the only time in all of making when things are perfect. That next commission is nothing but an idea. Some numbers scribbled next to a name. With hope, you actually remember the name, and the guy whose name it is. Because he’s been waiting for the moment too. Just in a different way. That moment of perfection becomes conceptual at best. Because soon you’ll grab some wrenches, a file or four, the tubing and parts you’ll need for the next several days. And in a heartbeat, a dream gradually declines into disorder.
The maker’s job is to arrange disorder. Twice a week. For life.