Jan 052017
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Happy New Year to everybody reading this. I don’t know about you, but 2016 was a mish mash of wonderful, and downright discouraging. I am very ready for 2017.

Each New Year, I am faced with the challenge of making resolutions or not. Normally, I choose not to. I have felt that they seem to be a recipe for disappointment and, at least in my case, are quickly forgotten.

This year however, I am inspired both by my fellow contributors here, and by the hopeful promise that 2017 seems to hold. So, what the hell, here are my resolutions for 2017. It will be interesting to see if I can tick all these boxes.

1) Get myself published. – In a way, this is already happening. After more than a year of submitting endless queries, often not even getting a “Thanks, but no thanks” for my trouble, it seems I may have found a place to broadcast my ramblings and to the world…..stay tuned.

2) Finish the Holtzapffel / Roubo build – Also happening. In fact, this is less a resolution, and more a “GOTTA GET THIS DONE” sort of thing. You see, my shop is small, VERY small, like….one car garage small. What this means is that I am restricted to working a project of this size and complexity out start to finish without interruption. There is no “set it aside to work on later” in my shop. It is up close and personal until it is finished.

3) Sharpen every blade. This may seem trite. However, I have been remiss in my sharpening duties, and need to take care of this sooner than later. It is a little embarrassing to admit to here, but I have been a bit of a lazy pillock in this regard.

4) Prototype development – Another area that I have been dragging my heels. I have become a little lazy in my sketching and actual fabrication of furniture designs. It is critical that I get some lumber into my shop, and begin sorting out build methods and operations for some, more conceptually developed designs, and to get pencil to paper to work out some newer ideas I have floating around in my head.

5) Become much more active in my local community/artisan community – This is something that requires some investigation and sleuthing skills. Where I live in Denver, the artisan community is there, if you know where to look. So far, efforts to discover any kind of organized entities like guilds or associations, have been a little disappointing. Still, I find the slowly reviving artisan/maker/craftsperson community to be a siren song that is irresistible and something I would love to be more involved with.

There you have it. Five very doable resolutions. This will give me plenty to chew on over the next year, and I reserve the right to be flakey about any of these at any time.

Here is to wishing everyone a very happy 2017. May it be prosperous and full of new discoveries.

John McBride is a professional woodwright, blogger, and writer, living and working joyfully and with abandon in Denver, Colorado.

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