I got the new Mouldings In Practice book from Lost Art Press recently, and I really like it. Of course it has instructions on making mouldings and the use of the special planes involved, but it also speaks to the craft, creation and hand skills.
I love tools in general. I love them for their form, the skill that went into making them and especially for the abilities to create other things that they represent. The tool by itself can’t create, although some tools lower the necessary skill level by virtue of their operation. Think table saw compared to a hand saw. How hard is it to accurately rip a 2″ x 10″ into two equal width boards with a table saw? Simple. With a hand saw, not so much. A skilled cabinetmaker can build fine furniture with a modest collection of hand tools. Likewise, a skilled blacksmith can build tools, locks and other utensils with little more than a hammer and a hot fire.
Craftsmanship and creativity meet in many unexpected places, and we’re all the richer for it. Shinya Kamura is a motorcycle builder, although that title sells him short by a good bit – in the same way as saying that James Krenov was a carpenter or Lance Armstrong is a cyclist. He creates complex, beautiful works of mechanical art using simple fabrication tools, the eye of a craftsman and the soul of an artist.