Apart From The Noise.
A major rehaul of our living room has been ordered by the executive committee. I cast my own vote in favor of this.
This means I get to design and build a few new pieces for us.
This also means at least one major furniture purchase from a leading, generic, manufacturer.
This also meant earlier this week the executive committee (including me, if I wanted any input) drove a couple hundred miles and visited many "Furniture Stores" looking for the Cinderella slipper equivalent of a sectional couch. We found it, made the purchase, and now await delivery.
Now I do not generally like visiting these places, and my wife does not like taking me for the same reasons I'm not allowed to watch medical drama television shows. I bitch and I pick at the details. I don't like it either but it's uncontrollably compulsory.
Here's my big problem. I know when people come to me and ask me if I would like to make them a piece of furniture that these guys are the standard I am getting compared to. I can see the difference in quality and design between my work or any good craftsman's work, and the things I see thrown together in these termite vomit graveyards. Sometimes I see something I like design-wise (never construction-wise) but chalk it up to the Infinite Monkey Theorem.
The thing I have to remind myself is I have a knowledge base on the subject that runs much deeper than the standard anybody, and asking them to see the difference between the two would be like someone asking me the difference between Boolean Algebra and Quadratic Equations. See I knew both of those names and I have a vague sense of what they might be, but I've never spent a minute really looking or thinking about either of those things and has to use the Google Machine to even make sure I was spelling them correctly.
With a little time and study I could tell you more about them, and most people could pick up what I know about furniture as well. It's a matter of interest and opportunity.
This trip was a different experience for me and my wife. The more Warehouses we visited the more I smiled, the more I enjoyed myself. I walked through every pseudo-space and outside of seeing some atrocious things done to old books in the name of "Decor" I was fairly content and spite free. On our way home Naomi commented on this and asked what was different.
"I think I may have finally beaten them." I said to her questioning face.
I've never walked around a showroom and not seen a hundred crappier examples of things I was building or had already built. Made from junkier materials with bullshit joinery and horrible finishes. It upsets me to compete with these things, to have to explain why what I've built, can build, is better and worth the cost. I'm not a gifted salesperson. But for the first time every I didn't see one thing that was close to what I'd recently began turning out.
There were chairs, many chairs, hundreds and maybe a thousand chairs that passed under my nose, as I didn't see one that I could quantify as a "stick chair."
I have no doubt Ashley Furniture couldn't turn out a kabillion Windsor-ish chairs in a heartbeat if they found them fashionable. Look at Chris Schwarz's blog post from today if you don't believe me, but they aren't and unless they worked at it, they couldn't keep up with the variety, ability, and uniqueness I'm developing and I know accomplished chairmakers already possess.
I've had trouble understanding my attraction (near obsession) with chairmaking and this may be part of it. For once I'm on to something that definitely stands out from the background noise. That just feels great!
Ratione et Passionis