Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Remembering My Dad the Craftsman

I found this book at a local thrift store last week. It's not much to look at on the cover but in the week that it has been mine it has come to represent everything that I've learned from my dad and everything I had still to learn.
It is called Amateur Craftsman's Cyclopedia of Things to Make
Popular Science Publishing Company, Inc.
1937

When I found it I was instantly excited and my first thought was to get it and show it to my dad. It literally took a second before I realized that I would never get that chance. So looking through this book has been off an on a sad thing to do, but also exciting and inspirational at the same time. It is filled with all kinds of projects from making toys to making a radio, from scratch, to match your couch. (really).
In it are the kinds of projects my father would have jumped right into and probably did at one point or another during his lifetime. 
He was a craftsman through and through. He was the kind of guy that wanted to know how things worked so he would read about it and do it. He was a master jeweler, probably the best there was in Arkansas, the one that other jewelers would send their 'tough' jobs to. In his life he built a sailboat, a guitar from scratch he even handmade the molds for it, furniture, "Frankenstein" machines (you know the electricity machines that go "zap" "zap", he found some original Tesla Gas tubes at a flea market and stared researching them to rebuild the machine. When I was a teenager I got into indian bead weaving and he built me a full size adjustable bead loom without a pattern, just made it up, which I still have and pull out occasionally. 
He always inspired me to create and make things with my own hands.
I had and still have tremendous respect for that type of mentality, for him, myself, and others I meet who believe that being a "craftsman" is important.
Creating things with your own two hands and a creative mindset, a can-do attitude is a valuable part of what makes us human.
So I've scanned a few pages to show you a very limited number of the MANY projects in this book...
It's just such a neat old book I had to share it and my thoughts with you. 

Isn't it strange how things like this pop up in our lives?

7 comments:

Heavens2Betsy said...

I loved reading the story about your father and the amazing book you found. His creative soul was obviously a gift he passed on to you. How poignant that you should honour his memory in this way.

Auntie Cake said...

I certainly think that popped up as a sweet tribute to your dad. What a lucky girl you are to have someone so talented to inspire you as a child. Now I know why you are so talented!!! You will have to show us some of your indian bead weaving!
Kate

Jan said...

Beautiful story about your Dad :) I like the book, some pretty cool stuff inside :)

Laurie said...

Wow, I could have written that post...my dad was a carpenter and sometimes I get the urge to tell him something, then that punch in the stomach when I realize I can't. Nice find.

Blissitydoodah said...

Ditto! My daddy too.
But when he was here and I did bring books LOL he didn't need them! He could have written them though.
I love to sit at his workbench...

Something Special said...

Hey, that is a great find. I know a man that has a whole library of books like that. I visited your other blog, to tell you that you are my winner this morning! CONGRATULATIONS!
I am excited to give you my scrapbooking blog launch giveaway. Please email me your mailing address and I will get it off to you right away. We have a lot in common. We like the same things and have some similar interests. I mentioned on your other blog, that maybe we could do a swap sometime. Come check out my Easter Decorations and my latest layout on. . . askmichelespecialpaperprojects.blogspot.com

Diane said...

Oh, how bittersweet. He obviously was a good father to you and you are so blessed to have these treasured memories of him.
Diane

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