Not long ago, I had a customer call me for a bookcase. They said that they
had purchased a TV stand from me years ago and love it. When I went to
their house for the bookcase estimate, I saw my TV stand. It was one of the
first ones I made when I was starting out about 5 years ago. My god, what a
mess! I wanted to take it and replace it with a new one free of charge.
The finish was horrible, the proportions were off, the stain was uneven.
Back then, I guess it was the best I could do. The customer is telling me
how great it is.............. wait till they get the bookcase!
Rugs are always made with an "error" because only God is perfect.
A bit silly, since even the absolutely best rug is bound to have a slightly
crooked stitch. Because, of course, only God IS perfect.
(Just as my absolutely best work has (multiple) slight imperfections.)
I'm trying really hard to stay away from showing my flaws. Maybe 1 in 50
notices something and asks, if you assume some are too polite to say anything
then maybe 1 in 10 or 20 notices.
And I haven't yet met a god who is perfect (not even "God").
I think the answer is simple: those who are reasonably proficient at
something hold themselves to higher standards. The higher standards
are the way you WANT to be able to do whatever it is. Those with no
aptitude or ability have lower standards and they think that even your
"flaw-ridden" effort is better than anything they could ever do so they
don't even register what you think are imperfections.
Most customers won't pay for obsessional behaviour. The trick is to
find a balance between speed and accuracy. I constantly remind myself
that I am not making a watch or a piano. I also believe that what goes
out there with my name on it, should be able to be put on display
anywhere. If that piece includes an expert repair, so be it. Chances
are nobody, but the most anal, will see that repair. And the anal are
never satisfied. Do not waste your time trying to please those
tofu-sucking granola crunching asshats with the magnifying glasses. I'm
not for them. I could be, but those types won't pay.
The equalizer for me, is that I always ask myself: "would I pay $
xxxx.xx for 'this piece?" If it doesn't pass that bar, it ain't leaving
You can tell a craftsman by the way he covers his mistakes...just ask
Eric Clapton. (*and 100 guys like him*)
Last night we were shopping for a couch. I stopped by the chairs to see how
they were made. They all had the arms attached to the backs with screws,
with a big button filling the hole. For some reason some of the finish had
chipped off the buttons, and they looked like crap. This was on all the
chairs, and they weren't cheap.
I showed it to my wife who replied, "yeah?"
I wonder why they all had finish chipped off the buttons.
I wonder why people buy chairs that look like crap.
Look around. It's not only chairs. Crap sells. There is lots of stuff on the
market now, that sells just fine, that would have never made it fifty years
ago. Introduce crappier and crappier products slowly over a long period of
time and Joe average consumer never notices. It's called social
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