This story from earlier in the week brought joy to my heart — and reminded me again that it’s never too young to take some time to pass on what you know to your children or young friends:
Talon Stammen, 16, puts a chisel to the maple round he’s mounted on the lathe in his grandfather’s workshop. On a nearby wall, a framed poster shows a wide-eyed baby Talon holding a hammer over a block of wood. His grandfather is standing behind him, watching carefully.
Grandfather Art Grabowski has had a big influence in Talon’s life, particularly as his first teacher in the art of woodworking. And he’s a big part of why, tonight, one of Talon’s pieces will be sold during the annual North Dakota Museum of Art Gala fundraiser, apparently making Talon the youngest artist ever in the auction.
The Grand Forks Herald goes on to tell Stammen’s story, from watching his grandpa working in his wood shop to whittling when he was five, taking carving lessons later, then building furniture in the shop with Grabowski, who’s now 96 years young. Stammen’s father tells another even more heartwarming story about his son’s interest in the outdoors and how it feeds his passion for wood.
Seriously. If you’ve ever thought “those young people just don’t care about tools and art” — or just need a pick-me-up today — go read the rest of the story via the link below. I’ll wait.
Lessons we can take from this:
If you’re a kid and you want to know more about making things or making things work, don’t wait. You’re never too young. Hit the library and learn what you can from books. (Stammen recommends “The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight Into Beauty” by Yanagi Soetsu [What’s This?] for those interested in wood.) Then pester your parents — and every adult you know — until they put you in the right, safe environment and let you have a go at things yourself.
If you’re a coot (young or old), you’re never too old to befriend someone just starting and share with them what you know — whether that’s woodworking, art, motorcycle repair, a passion for auto painting, machine work, or anything else. Get with the program! Practicing your art and skill is only one part of the equation. Passing those skills on to the next generation lies on the other side of the equal sign, balancing things out.
(Thanks, BotheredByBees, for the great CC-licensed photo.)
The Auction’s Youngest Artist [Grand Forks Herald]