The craft of mindfulness

The craft of mindfulness

Posted by on Jun 21, 2012 in Blog | No Comments
Mindfulness or what?

Mindfulness or what?

I have talked about being in the zone in another blog. By being in the zone I mean a state of concentration on a task to the exclusion of other concerns. In the craft field this is an important state of mind, as it is when you are in the zone that you do your best work.

Recently I have become interested in the concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being aware of the present moment, in tune with our senses and connected with the world. The way we live now discourages this way of living, automation means we do not have to concentrate on many daily processes and modern media means we have constant distractions from the real world. Consequently we tend to run on automatic pilot, divorced from what is going on around us. The idea of mindfulness is to bring yourself back to bodily sensations and immediate stimuli so you interact more meaningfully with the world

The idea for this blog came to me on Sunday when I was running a marquetry session during North Yorkshire Open Studios.

Dovetails and mindfulness

Dovetails and mindfulness

Posted by on Mar 8, 2012 in Blog | No Comments

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I’m preparing for a couple of one day dovetailing courses I have coming up this weekend. I find people’s attitude to the dovetail interesting. It has a certain mystique about it, but in fact it is like any other joint just requiring careful attention to method, technique, accuracy and concentration to produce good work. Because the dovetail is held in such high regard it is often used inappropriately, often spoiling and otherwise good design. This is often true of those following the arts and crafts style.


As with all craft work cutting dovetails always goes better if you are “in the zone” or, as it is coming to be known, in a mindful state. Being mindful means focusing awareness on what is happening here and now. In our daily lives we are used to running on automatic pilot, we are often doing many things at once, for instance the teenager walking to school, listening to an ipod and texting at the same time.