Hello! – I love a good experiment, especially when it tests new ideas on design and construction. One thing I don’t understand is when you’re told there is only one way to do something because that’s the way it has always been done. If we all go around happy to accept that then nothing will ever progress and we’ll never have something new to look forward to.
The thing with experimenting is that half the time it doesn’t work and all you have to show for your efforts is a lesson learned. However, some might say the best teacher is experience and I would agree to some extent – as long as you can still count ten fingers at the end of it.
On the plus side, when it doesn’t fail, you can be left with something special – something no-one else has and a very personal something that money cannot buy.
Of course that’s not to say ignore tradition but rather respect it and leave an open mind to new ideas. The best way to envisage a comparison between experimental and tradition is to look at music.
Musicians tend to fall into two categories (three if you count drummers).
You have the traditional music connoisseur who studies music theory and learns to play an instrument from sheet music in a very structured and exacting manner. These are the people who form the orchestras and appear to be able to play different complex pieces on consecutive nights with effortless ease. The orchestra is a wonderful thing to witness – especially in a venue like the Albert Hall or the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
Then you have the self taught musician who could be referred to as the lazy musician (usually guitarists like me) who learn to play in a rather informal manner with little structure from music theory.
Whilst the former can play just about anything instantly from a sheet of music, the latter will usually have to learn each piece until it can be recited from memory.
However, whether it’s art, construction or music, it could be argued that intensive learning and commitment to tradition can blinker the natural creativity within the individual. Paul McCartney is reported to be a non-music reader but apparently he did alright for himself, although it didn’t get him on a Morcambe and Wise Christmas special – unlike Andre Previn.
Whichever of the above you feel to be the most talented, there is no doubt the world needs both in order to revolve with tradition and evolve for the future.
Over the years I have spent hours designing and making all manner of things and have been asked on numerous occasions to put them on line in one form or other. Unfortunately, I haven’t always kept a photographic record of the things I’ve made so I have a limited history of past projects or have to rely on photographs of things how they are now in place of how they looked when new.
So here it is – that’s what it’s all about – just a means to share a few creations and possibly show what can be done with or without the correct tools.