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Why I Make: I'm an Idealist

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I guess that I should start by saying that I am an idealist. I wouldn't do this if I didn't think that perfection couldn't be reached, and woodworking affords me the ability to strive for that. From the design to the process, I am continually evolving the final product, constantly trying to better my craft and myself. This can also be said about my views on society.

We moved from a connection that once existed between client and craftsman to mass-produced boxed store production. I enjoy getting to know whom I am building for, and in turn I think that relationship makes what I have built for my clients connected to something.

The other part of my drive is the passion to do something that makes me happy in life. Every part of the process is enjoyable: From hunting the logs used to make the lumber, designing a piece for a clients needs, and then building that piece.

Time spent at the bench with my hand tools is most rewarding. There is something about using the tools to take a rough piece of a tree and make it beautiful. I love the feeling of using a sharp chisel or plane to make a perfectly fitted joint, or taking a square leg and giving it that graceful touch. I make because I think what I am doing means something.

Todd Graham builds furniture out of recycled and discarded wood in Oklahoma. You can check out more of his work at Tree Theory and keep up to date with his latest work on Facebook.

Why I Make is a guest series exploring the human impulse to create. Read more posts in the Why I Make archives or submit your own story.



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