Turning Archive 2007

"How long did that take?" (longish)

John Pickett
>Upon showing someone my work, I am often asked "How long did it take to make that?"

My answer depends upon who is asking. Let me explain.

This question generally comes from one of three types of persons: the capitalist, the craftsman, and the artist/philosopher. (OK, I know that is stretching credulity, but just go with it.)

The capitalist wants to know one thing: How much does it cost vs. the value of the item. To this person, 'time is money,' thus the question: "How much time ..."

This question requires an answer because they probably can actually afford to buy it.

My answer, therefore, will include the time I spent in design, how long I had to work at my day job to buy the raw materials (or how long I spent in the woods) in addition to the time standing in front of the lathe, etc.

The craftsman wants to know the process / Can I make that? I actually enjoy talking to these people because we have compatible interests, and they understand craft. My answer is tailored accordingly.

I explain the technique, mastery of tools, etc., involved in the work

The artist / philosopher (who is the only one really worth talking to
anyway) deserves the truth, because they can appreciate it.

So I tell them: A lifetime ... in my case, 54 years.

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