An anniversary of sorts

Why do humans mark things by the year? I guess it’s because it represents a complete cycle of sorts – or one of many smaller cycles inside much larger ones.

This Wednesday my wife and I will have been married for fourteen years. June 15 might be an entirely arbitrary day to most people, but it is burned into my psyche and if you’ve ever forgotten an anniversary you know why.  Emily and I usually don’t do anything too crazy these days with three kids in tow, but it remains important for us to mark the date, especially as a mode of looking back, reflecting on what those fourteen years have meant and considering where we’re headed.

Having said that, I confess that I have forgotten another (less matrimonial) anniversary. Last year on June 12, 2015 The Daily Skep was born, and honestly, I didn’t expect much. I needed a place to process and connect what I had learned with what I was still learning and I thought that this blog might be a good way to reflect on my burgeoning love of hand tool woodworking and chronicle the development of my skills and thoughts on the craft. I hoped it would generate some conversation, but I never really believed anyone would bother reading it.

It would be an understatement to say that I have been pleasantly surprised at how things have turned out.

I went back and looked over that first entry this morning and I was happy to read this:

My intention is not to create one more woodworking blog to simply sit alongside the others. Instead, what I hope to do here by telling the story about my own journey into woodworking, one project at a time, is to locate myself within a bigger story. To find the intersections with other stories and other craftspeople who are asking the same questions, who are wondering the same things, who are making the same mistakes and who are learning what it means to turn nature into culture.

Thus the image of the skep. An image that pays homage to industry and the industrious. A symbol of the artisan and craftsperson. A reminder of our inter-connectedness. And, perhaps not least of all, a giant basket capable of holding all manner of things. The artifacts we hold in common tell a story far bigger than any one of us.

When I wrote this it wasn’t really meant as a manifesto, but you could read it as something like a vision statement and if that’s the case I’d say TDS hasn’t missed the mark by much.

This has been a year of questions I’d never considered, connections I’d never dreamed of and opportunities beyond my wildest imagination. I am sincerely grateful for everyone of you who have read, considered and contributed to the work we’re doing here and I know there are great things still to come.

Thank you,




3 Comments Add yours

  1. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary Jim, and also happy birthday to the Skep.

    I think it’s fair to say that the Skep has hit all those objectives you set out in the inaugural post. What is more, in my view it has become a cornerstone of our community and provided much food for thought, as well as techniques. I for one know that my experience of the craft has been greatly enriched by the commentary and interaction we’ve shared on the pages of the Skep.

    This is important work, so keep it up. I’ll raise a whisky to you and yours tonight!



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kieran. Cheers!


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