Rustic Farm Style Hand Carved Wooden Ware

Rustic farm-style hand carved wooden items, what does this mean?  This means I do not sand items.  I see a lot of things carved that are so highly sanded that they look like they are factory made.   They could be, there are a lot more re-sellers then makers out there.  (When in doubt ask if they made the item.)  

I HATE Sanding.  I spent hours sanding items, wearing dust masks, getting sinus infections and being miserable that I was SANDING.  I would go through various grits, and use the tool to fix flaws that I might have had in my carving technique all the while telling myself how good it looked.  Then I realized, the machine made it.  That bothered me, a lot!

So, I stopped.  Just like that I quit cold turkey and have not been happier.  The sound of the random orbital sander would echo in my ears for hours after i was done, my wrist would cramp up and i thought oh no here comes carpal tunnel.  

No sanding means you need to control your tools.  My tools are sharpened to 8000 grit, most sandpaper goes to 320.  I can get a better finish with my tools, its just different.  It has facets, marks of its making.  Every mark means I made it with skill.  The wood glows; it has a texture, it feels like items of old because its made like items of old.  

I take this into my work with the pole lathe too.  Every ridge on the bowl is where the tool went around the bowl.  Its similar to the fingerprints a potter will leave in a bowl when they are turning on the wheel.  The only difference is my wheel is turned sideways and I use a steel tool since I am using wet wood instead of wet clay.  

I have no dust collector, i sweep out piles and piles of shavings.  

Through it all there is peacefulness.  Not silence there is the noise of the broom, of a knife going across a sharpening stone, a file shaping a hook.  There is just the connectedness of the tool  to the work.   Without the wine of an electric motor a rhythm emerges from  the studio.  Both in sound and in product. 

I make what I can, no more.  I do not rely on a machine to push my output through the roof.  I have found a place to be happy.  I have what I have, I make what I make, I use what I make.  I so  enjoy this type of life.