Thursday, January 5, 2012
About three years ago I finished my last oud. Six years of tedious "workmanship of risk" can get to you. I burned out. I also found that I neglected important work in that time. Like building basic furniture that I've always wanted to build for my family and myself.
The oud making was fun and rewarding. But that is the sort of activity you have to devote your whole life to in order for it to work. You can't really be a part-time luthier and expect great results. You have to live with wood, make tons of instruments from it, and only then can you start to get an inkling for what makes an instrument sing. That is a life long process, and any luthier worth their salt will tell you that no luthier ever completely understands the material or what makes a great instrument sound great. We get close, but wood being wood, there are always unquantifiable factors. I reached the point where I decided that in order to build the best ouds I could (and not just pear-shaped boxes with fancy inlay) I would have to make that my sole occupation.
In the meantime I've been trying to get the backlog of furniture projects whittled down. And I'm making progress. Step by step, as they say.
I initially set up this blog as a way to share oud making info and techniques, and its slowly morphed into something other than that. If I ever get back into making ouds, I will start posting here again. In the meantime check out the Benchcrafted Blog, and in particular the Personal Work category where I regularly post about what I'm currently working on.