The Creative Wave

Not long ago, my wife walked into the shop to find a tool. What she found instead was me laboring over a big project and an even bigger mess. Sawdust and shavings covered the floor, and most of my tools were strewn about any available flat surface. Typically, my shop is somewhat neat, but when I’m deep in a build, “a place for everything and everything in its place” becomes “everything all over every place.” I apologized for the mayhem and sheepishly unearthed what she needed from beneath a pile of scrap wood. But she shrugged it off as “riding the creative wave” and told not me to worry about it. My wise and wonderful wife was right once again!

For me, woodworking is a perfect mix of the left and right brain. While my left-brain is busy adding fractions and composing cut lists, ideas percolate in the subconscious, priming my right brain for creative bursts. And rather than dam that flow just to be orderly, I grab a board and ride the wave. This flood of inspiration may well submerge my shop, leaving disorder in its wake, but when the waters recede, I have created something new.

You can open the floodgates to your next creative surge with the inspiring projects and techniques that lie ahead in this issue. A beautiful three-tiered turning awaits. The craftsman-style table lamp features a clever use of CNC. See  a creative solution to smartphone murmuring, or a squirrely method to retrieve baked treats. And ensure your creative wave splashes down as intended by making mock-ups of your projects. Your own creativity is on show here as well, in the form of reader-submitted projects and a bevy of clever tips.

Creative endeavors are messy, so it’s okay if our shops get untidy when using them to birth new ideas. Ride the creative wave, and you may well find yourself awash in a sea of cool projects to share with the world.

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