I an so honored that Jonathan is sharing his skills on this blog. I have been a fan from afar of his determination, perseverance and skills at creating, fashioning and building. Jonathan is also a skilled taxidermist, which I leave for a second post, if Jonathan is willing to share here!
Jonathan is a member of the extended Shamash/Ag.... family. Thanks to you, Jonathan for teaching us here.
Why I Build
You might not think of building as an act of faith, not faith in the traditional sense but faith in oneself. Projects begin with a vision--a vision of, say a renovated bathroom, custom furniture or handmade knife. Realizing the vision is what carries me through the inevitable moments of doubt. Unforeseen obstacles bring on pangs of doubt and trips to Home Depot.
To a non-professional builder like myself, most projects are my first attempt. Many are a one-shot deal. I'm only installing recessed lighting once. A professional could do the job in a third of the time. But I don't get satisfaction from hiring pros. Working with your hands brings deep contentment and I encourage readers to try it. Even busy parents like myself can find a 20 minutes after bedtime. It's not the most efficient way to work, but you work with what you have. Your job, current events and life’s difficulties will fall away when you're engrossed in a project.
It's hard to describe the sense of satisfaction I feel when finishing a project. Seeing my children eat on the table I built is why I build.
Other times I build because I must. Several years ago, upon returning home from a trip, our furnace broke and the interior temperature dropped to 35 degrees. Awesome neighbors and a rush-delivery saw us through. Working in my jacket and gloves with Youtube open, the pressure motivated me to get the job done. Replacing the cracked fan blade required only a screwdriver and allen wrench. Hardly advanced skills. It took more effort to diagnose the issue.
Challenging your own capacity to learn, no matter how inexperienced, is another reason why I craft. The most complex jobs can be broken down into a series (sometimes many series) of steps.
Building, crafting, repairing--whatever you want to call it-- opens a window in people where you can share your knowledge with curious friends and strangers. Next time you encounter a broken or poorly functioning device, don't be afraid to give it a try and pass your newfound passion onto another person.
A Sampling of Some of Jonathan's Projects.