Sunday, November 14, 2010

Great Value in Hobbies

        As I did my last post on birch bowls, I began to think about the great value of a good hobby. I consider my blog to be a hobby and many of the activies I participate in are hobbies.

       However, if I use the birch bowl topic I can demonstrate some of the values of a good hobby. David, the lather, who produced the bowls, obviously spends a great deal of time working on his hobby. So it is an excellent way to spend leisure time in a stimulating way.

     First, David does not buy any wood to pursue his craft. So he spends time and watches so that he can obtain a variety of wood that would otherwise be wasted. David has friends who know he wants wood and alert him when they see trees being taken down. As a result he gets a variety of wood so can work with color and grain variations. Most people are quite happy to let him have part of their tree and in my case he took the whole tree as he also burns wood to heat his house. So to begin with there is a strong social aspect. He also belongs to a guild where lathers get together and share ideas.

     Second, something is being created and produced. When you watch David begin, he looks at the wood as if to say, what kind of bowl is in this wood. At the end of lots of hard work there is a product with beauty. We need to produce something at the end of an activity so that we can look at it with pride. In my blog I produce material that I can look at. I look back at old posts and quite often get new ideas or further ideas and expand on a topic. Lately I have been going back and revising old posts. It's rather humbling and surprising at how many errors I made.

    Something like wood turning gives a person something stimulating to do with their time. I imagine something new is learned with each bowl produced. I learn with each blog post. I started at zero with my blog so I have had to learn many things. Each new thing I learn is satisfying.

    David has accumulated a large number of tools for his craft. I think he had three different lathes in the shop. Obtaining the right tools and learning how to make them work for you is a worthwhile goal in itself.

    Since David heats his house with wood he can use the waste product for heat. He also gives some shavings away to gardeners like me. David packages the shavings in paper bags and uses them to start his fires. Since there's much of the tree which is too small to make bowls out of he can burn the part not used to lathe.

      Now I've just dealt with two hobbies. There is an endless number of activities one could be involved in. It doesn't matter what age you are , you can still benefit from a good hobby. So if you don't have anything to do find a good hobby and you will find all kinds of benefits from it.

     So a good hobby brings personal satisfaction. We spend enjoyable time, learn things and receive pleasure from what we do.

     So let me know what your hobby is and what you get out of it.