Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mr. Lecount Ready For Adoption.

Meet Mr. Lecount

Over the years I have lectured to groups, large and small, thousands of time.  Public speaking is easy for me.  Just tell me how long you want me to talk, pick a subject, and let me go.  I never talk over the time allowed.  I can easily tell a story which is adapted to the audience with facts and anecdotes, letting the questions from the audience direct the presentation.  If you were to ask me how I do it, I would tell you a few basic rules:  have the confidence in your material, speak clearly and vary the delivery to "sell" the story with enthusiasm, and, most importantly, maintain eye contact with everyone in the audience.  As you speak, there will be those who nod in approval.  That means continue on that topic.  Also there will be those who nod off in sleep.  That means change the topic.

Original Works from 1690
It is important to use humor at times to put the audience at ease.  Knowing what kind of humor is the secret to success.  Having a joke fall flat is perhaps the worst type of mistake a speaker can make.  I have a good selection of humorous remarks that fit nicely into my presentation, and I am never afraid to use them when it feels right.  For example, when I am talking about making furniture and the amount of time it takes to do it by hand, they always have a question like "That must take a lot of patience!"

I then quote from Toshio Odate, a wonderful woodworker who says, "Why would I do something in 10 minutes that I could do all day?"  In other words, it is not "patience" but "passion" that drives me to work the way I do.  When you are passionate about your activity, it is not "work" but a "lifestyle."

As I remember from Be Here Now, the bible of the 60's, life is a journey, you better enjoy the trip.

Olive, Yew Wood Oysters, Marquetry
At times I am speaking to a small private group of mature individuals and I can use a  metaphor which exactly explains how I feel when making a piece of furniture.  I tell them that I enjoy being pregnant, what I don't like is kids.  In a crude way that illustrates that I enjoy the creating process, giving birth to a new form, but I don't want to take care of it when it's done.  I just put it up for adoption and then start over.

This is where I am with Mr. Lecount.  I have labored over it for over a year to get it to stand up on its own and be ready to face the world.  Now that he is finished, I hope he finds a good home.

When I returned from my vacation, I finished applying the shellac finish, installed the glass and gold mounts.  Then I fixed the hinges for the upper door and installed the latch which keeps the glass door closed.  I rubbed out the shellac and applied a coat of Kiwi paste wax, which gave a nice patina.

Bullseye Bellybutton
The last thing I did was install the hand blown glass bullseye in the lenticle.  The lenticle is an oval window in the door which allows the owner to see if the pendulum is moving or the weights are down a certain length.  When clocks evolved from the marquetry period to the Georgian period, for some reason the lenticle was no longer popular.  I like it and think it is an attractive feature.  With the bullseye glass, in my mind, the lenticle becomes the belly button of the clock.

It seems appropriate that, as a parent giving birth, the belly button would be the last thing to do, since cutting the umbilical cord is the actual last act of separating the child from the parent.

Now all I need to deal with is the postpartum depression.

Blue Birds of Happiness


Derek Vaughn said...

Very nice work Patrick. On a separate note, I've never seen so many plow planes in one spot. Would you be willing to sell one of them?

W. Patrick Edwards said...

I have a spot in the shop for building and setting up tall clocks. It is just a board on the floor which is adjusted to be absolutely flat. Then I can set the beat of the clock to run properly.

Since this spot is out of the way, it happens to be near the rack of plough planes (I use the old spelling.) Yes, I have a lot of ploughs. I have them set up with different size blades so I don't have to change them much.

I have some really nice boxwood planes and most of them are beech. All of them are American.

More importantly, I have dozens of sets of blades for these ploughs. When I started collecting them, some 30+ years ago, I realized they were being sold usually only with one blade. I started searching for sets of blades and buying them. Now I have a lot of blades, which are difficult to find these days.

To answer your question, yes, I would consider selling one, and have sold some blades in the past. I have a wealth of tools and am getting older.

Perhaps it is a good time to pass them on.

Craig Flaming said...

Where did you find the mounts for the columns?

W. Patrick Edwards said...

I get my clock mounts from Optimum Brasses in England. web:

However, I either send them to Paris for chasing and gilding or apply gold leaf here in the shop.

Anonymous said...

Stunning, as always.

W. Patrick Edwards said...

Mr. Lecount has been adopted! Now I begin the process of looking for another abandoned set of period works to build a case for.

Let me know if you have any laying around.