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17 August 2009

Wendell Castle's 10 Rules of Thumb

Last week I had the privilege of spending a few days at furniture artist Wendell Castle's studio in upstate NY. Castle whose career has spanned an astonishing five decades is a groundbreaking pioneer in blurring and breaking the boundaries between art and craft.

It's enough that he's a genius , but I was further inspired by his thoughtful, soft-spoken demeanor not to mention great personal style. How has he stayed focused and at the top of his game for so long?

Here are 10 of his "Adopted Rules of Thumb"...

1. If you are in love with an idea, you are no judge of its beauty or value.

2. It is difficult to see the whole picture when you are inside the frame.

3. After learning the tricks of the trade, don't think you know the trade.

4. We hear and apprehend what we already know.

5. The dog that stays on the porch will find no bones.

6. Never state a problem to yourself in the same terms it was brought to you.

7. If it's offbeat or surprising, it's probably useful.

8. If you don't expect the unexpected, you will not find it.

9. Don't get too serious.

10. If you hit the bullseye everytime, the target is too near.

12 comments:

Mrs. Blandings said...

This was on a poster on the wall of my neurosurgeon's waiting room!

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Not the picture of Wendell with the saw???? That would not inspire confidence in a surgeon, I would think. Of course, it's no surprise that someone as lovely as WC is a Kansas-native.... EEE

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Words to ponder!
Especially #5!

Mrs. Blandings said...

No, no - the ten things. But now I like the idea of the saw picture better.

home before dark said...

Love this picture with his adopted ten commandments. Perhaps one addition: if a known creative genius is holding a chainsaw in front of you, don't get in his way. I think all his rules point in the direction of Picasso's view of the world. Trying to keep a child's view of the possible...while armed with power tools!

soodie :: said...

Oh lordy.... I needed to read those 10 things today. On a selfish note, very timely for me EEE. Thank you!

Also thanks for the chuckle:: poster of WC with the chain saw in the doctors office.

little augury said...

so good. la

beachbungalow8 said...

wait, I love this man.If I don't already live by some of those credos, I'm adopting them pronto.

Cay Denise said...

Great rules!

Cay Denise said...

Could I post these to my blog?

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Cay - absolutely! (although it would be nice to be credited.) The rule that keeps speaking to me is "the dog that stays on the porch never gets any bones"

Nancy Wait said...

I loved reading these rules - especially about not getting too serious and only apprehending what we already know -- so true!