Yes, I am insane!

'My hands grasp at what my mind cannot

‘My hands reach to what my mind cannot “grasp”: I believe in my hands (…) Because of them I am in the dark, grasping at a reality which I only experience as a nebula.’ (Simeon ten Holt)

Over the years many people told me that, in this day and age, you need to be crazy to become a luthier or craftsman of any kind. I believe they’re wrong. To be crazy is not enough, insanity would be much better.

The fact is that craziness will only get you so far. I knowmany people who are crazy about something, but never get past that. Mostly they are just crazy about one subject; cars, music, computers, sports, guitars, etc. That’s fine, and they really enjoy it, but it doesn’t get them to look past the lines of their field. To really push the boundaries a broader view is necessary.

My friends and family think I am crazy about guitars and music. And that’s true, but it is only part of my real passion. It’s not that I love making instruments only for the fun opf it, but it is the focal point in which all my interests come together and connect. Over the years it has become clear to me that my true vocation lies in making a connection between theory and practice, head and hand.
Yes, I love to make things, instruments, furniture, tools, art, food. But I also love to do research, solve puzzles, revive old knowledge and add to it. More than anything this is part of who I am; a MAKER, who tries to find ways to translate information into actual things, and gain more knowledge along the way. Working with my mind, trough my hands. To communicate in more ways than just with words.

As humans we need both theory and practice. Ideas and techniques, one can’t go without the other. “Mind over matter” is a misconception, we have to go with “mind and matter”. In my relatively short life I’ve met many people who were just one or the other. Workers with a lack of theoretical knowledge and intellectuals without any practical knowledge. Both have no idea how to tackle a problem and the results were often worse than bad. This is not the fault of these individuals. It is mostly due to demands of our run-off-the-mill society and the education system that goes with it (but also keeps the status quo running).

What I hope to show you with this blog is that it can be different. Give a little peek into the wonderful world of lutherie and all arts and crafts involved. A journey into materials, value(s), music, techniques, history, physics, design, woodwork, sound, myths, exploration, arts, nature, life, quality, tools, theory, practice and more. Simply a man with a mind and a pair of hands, no more, but certainly no less!

Greetings from the Netherlands,
Jan

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2 Responses to Yes, I am insane!

  1. darinmolnar says:

    Yes, theory and practice are both important, yet they can present a chicken-egg conundrum. I’ve always believed the development of theory is an inductive process, one in which we learn by doing and them come up with a plausible explanation for what we’ve learned against which we can test hypotheses. Once we jump from inductive to deductive exploration, though, our search for theoretical meaning often stops. What do you suggest a maker should do to keep theory fresh while also applying it to the act of making?

    Like

  2. The trick is to stay inspired and never stop learing. Always be eager to learn and make something new. Keeping an open mind and walking paths you never knew before. Also trying to find the reason and theory behind the practical things you do and vice versa.

    Liked by 1 person

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