What brought this on was a visit to the shop last week by a couple of potential customers. I was wearing my new apron ($49.99 on sale at Highland) when they came in about some custom turning work. Now when you are considering hiring someone to do custom work, you want an experienced worker, someone who has been around the bend, a dirty apron kind of person. You don’t want someone learning how to do wood work on your dime. A couple of hundred years ago, when you asked for proposals on work, the bidders brought their tool boxes with them for your inspection. They would spread their tools out for you to inspect, including the tool box itself as a sort of portfolio of the type of work you could expect. Probably not a bad idea.
Even today, when you go to a Habitat site you can tell in the first five minutes who knows what they are doing by the tool belt they are wearing. If you want to get something done, find someone with an old leather belt and a smooth worn hammer handle and follow them around.
Now it happens that I know what I am doing in the turning field, but the problem is that my apron does not yet convey my skill level to potential customers. It needs more wear and signs of usage and I am doing everything I can to get it there. If I can just find a muddy dirt road.