Beauty Locked In Every Grain

Why work with wood?

Philip KempfComment

I work all day in the virtual world, staring into a computer screen for the better part of 8 hours. Sometimes the glow of the screen can just seem to cause the eyes to glaze over. There's nothing physical about it and at times it's really hard to connect what I do in my day to day with its direct impact on the physical, real world.  Don't get me wrong, it pays the bills and I work for a fantastic company and an amazing set of people and am truly blessed to be where I am at.

While all that is true, it just doesn't satiate that inner desire of mine to create......to design, to build, and craft something beautiful with my hands. Working with wood gives me all of that and more. I take something that is raw - dimensional pine lumber - and work it into something that is gorgeous. That transformation is something that is really satisfying...the ability to create something beautiful and then share it with the people I love.

The sharing part, though, is really the best part because sharing is all about people. You get to pass on to them a part of you through your work, and may even inspire them at the same time. That's just really neat to me.  I get to share it with family, friends, and YOU! It's fun, a blessing and a moment of pride. Sharing beauty is good for the heart and soul. In some small way I like to think it raises everyone up just a bit.

But best of all, the works I build have the potential to become part of someone's life.....A place where they can place their coffee for a fireside chat,  somewhere to rest that glass of fine wine, a brainstorming base to plan the adventures of life ahead.....you get the picture. 

I think the ability to create is one of man's greatest gifts from God. When we create, we experience a beautiful part of our being that directly reflects the likeness of God - the Creator. We get to share in that ability to make something stunning, to fashion something with our hands. It's an incredible gift, and one that we're all meant to enjoy, whether it be through woodworking, painting, crafting, sewing, cooking...the list is endless.

There are so many gadgets, electronics, that keep us all in the virtual world. At times all of these "connections" seem to make us feel more disconnected with what is real.  Escaping to my woodworking shop allows me to escape from the virtual world of buttons, screens, and apps into a world of sawdust, the smell of pine as the saw slices it and the innate natural God-created beauty of wood. 

All I am really doing is complimenting what is inherently beautiful in itself. I am just highlighting what is already there. 

My father was a fantastic engineer by trade and an excellent carpenter. I worked with him on several jobs but haven't been able to fully appreciate the work until now. I just wasn't at a stage in my life when it interested me much. But I sure appreciate it now.