My creativity has been inspired by many sources, each fueling and shaping it in a special way.
My father and grandfathers were very handy people, constantly working with their hands to create things they needed. My grandfather on my mother's side was a farmer and was always "fixing" something; although it was not necessarily pretty, his fixes were effective. My grandfather on my father’s side worked as a mechanic and did body repair on the side but also dabbled in woodworking and anything else that could turn some profit.
My own father has always been into some project or other but was mostly into construction and home renovation, though he also had an affinity for mechanical projects. He kept "Popular Science" and "Handyman" magazines around the house, and not being self-sufficient and productive was just not an idea I grew up with.
I had used some tools here and there in my youth but it was Mr. Smith, my middle school shop teacher, who introduced me to a variety of tools and concepts through his simple projects involving metal and wood, sheet metal work, and furniture. I can still hear Mr. Smith reminding me to cut to the waste side of the line every time I wrap my fingers around a saw handle. It was also Mr. Smith that introduced me to drafting and design. I can't overstate how important he was in developing my confidence and curiosity, especially because his praise and little paper certificates opened my eyes to so many possibilities.
It was around that time that I saw my first episode of "The New Yankee Workshop" and I marveled at Norm Abram’s projects. He used tools that I was familiar with but presented them in ways that provided exposure for new types of joints and methods for creating them.
Many other people and things have inspired me and shaped me but for the ones that started me on this journey, I am especially thankful.
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